Stoner criticises `late` MotoGP weight rule change

Madrid: Casey Stoner has hit out at a change to MotoGP regulations that forced his Repsol Honda team to add 4 kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) in weight to their new 1,000cc bikes for the 2012 season, saying its "late" introduction has caused problems in cornering.

The world champion, who was half a second clear of his rivals in testing of the new machines at Sepang this week, said the team`s bikes had been "developed with a specific weight in mind" and that the situation was "rather frustrating".

"We already had the bike developed and then they decided to change the regulations," the Australian, who is due to become a father for the first time in a few weeks, said in an interview published by his team on Sunday.

"This affects the bike," added the 26-year-old.

"It isn`t something that you notice much in your general riding, but unfortunately you do feel it quite a bit mid-corner.

"We have to try to adapt a little more and overcome this, but it is disappointing that the decision was made so late on."

Riders have a final series of tests in Jerez, Spain at the end of March before the opening Grand Prix of the season in Qatar on April 8.

Bureau Report