Ducati MotoGP duo keen to have Stoner as rider coach

Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller have both expressed a keenness for Ducati to bring a MotoGP rider coach onboard for 2022, with both mentioning Casey Stoner as an option.

Ducati MotoGP duo keen to have Stoner as rider coach

Double MotoGP world champion Stoner is present at the Algarve Grand Prix this weekend and will also attend the Valencia race as a guest of Ducati, and has been out trackside spotting the Italian marque’s riders.

Bagnaia says Stoner’s feedback on Saturday allowed him to improve in the final corner, with the Italian going on to take pole for the fifth-straight race in qualifying in Portugal.

When asked if he’d like for Stoner to remain in a rider coach role going forward, Bagnaia said: “Could be a nice present from Ducati to have Casey as a coach next year.

“It’s a different point of view, he’s a legend and it’s different to have a coach, because in Ducati we didn’t have a coach and for me it helps a lot.

“Maybe next year we can have him. But for me today he helped a bit for the last corner, the exit of the last corner, and it was useful.”

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Team-mate Jack Miller echoed Bagnaia’s comments, and though he isn’t sure Stoner is a viable option for 2022, he feels Ducati does need to look at introducing a rider coach to its programme going forward.

“It’s fantastic to have Casey at the last two grands prix,” Miller, who will start Sunday’s Algarve GP second, said.

“He’s got a family and lives on another side of the world, so the idea of that working out I think could be too hard logistically and whatnot.

“But I’d be all for it 100%. But like Pecco said, it is really nice, I’ve worked with spotters on track and he’s not a normal spotter – let’s say it like that.

“It’s Casey Stoner, a legend, one of the best ever. But I think it is something we’re missing in our programme and I think it is definitely something we need to look at maybe introducing into the programme.

“I’m not saying we can get Casey, I’m more than happy to have him, but somebody.”

Commenting on his lap-record setting pole on Saturday, Bagnaia says improvements to how his Ducati behaved in the windy conditions played a key role in his qualifying success.

“I’m very happy because I enjoy a lot this weekend,” Bagnaia added.

“When you enjoy a lot with your bike, everything comes easily. Yesterday afternoon and today from the morning, with this type of wind I was struggling a bit.

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“But we worked well and now I feel great also in the last sector where the wind is more strong.

“I think we’re ready for the race, we’ve tried all the tyres for the race, medium and hard.

“And with both we were fast, so I think that our engineers are studying which one is better and I’m sure tomorrow our pace will be very competitive.”

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