Casey Stoner has been likened by former team-mate Marco Melandri to an old pay television decoder, for his “perfect” instinct but inability to actually realise what he was doing.
Stoner and Melandri spent a year together at the factory Ducati Team in 2008, the year after the Australian’s first MotoGP championship victory.
It was also a year in which Stoner won six races, but finished the season a distant second to Valentino Rossi with ‘The Doctor’ having won nine races and only twice missed the podium.
“I don’t like to compare the big champions with each other because each of them was strong because of their different characteristics,” Melandri told Italian website, GPOne.com.
“Stoner, for example, was a bit like Sky’s first decoder.
“Today’s pilot is like a modern decoder: As he rides, he records his actions in his head and then looks at them again in the box and understands them.
“Casey, on the other hand, had automatisms that were inherently perfect, but as soon as he got off the motorcycle, he did not even know that he had done certain things.”
When asked to elaborate on the phenomenon, the Italian nominated Stoner’s ability under brakes as an example.
“In some corners that you ride in third gear, he lacked an engine brake,” recalled Melandri.
“That is why he put in second gear in the braking phase and then again third before turning into the curve.
“But when asked about it, he said it wasn’t true.
“Of course, the data recording contradicted him there, but it was incredible, he always did the right thing, but he didn’t know he was doing it.
“He was a bit untamed, but I liked it.”
Stoner went on to win a second premier class title in 2011 before his retirement at the end of the following season.