Could Casey Stoner really win V8 title?

Casey Stoner’s Triple Eight race engineer John Russell believes that winning the 2013 Dunlop Series isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for the motorcycle convert.

Casey Stoner in V8 Supercars

The two-time MotoGP World Champion will be in action at Barbagallo’s second round this weekend – a full two months after making his debut in the Adelaide season opener.

It was a promising if troubled first outing for Stoner, who crashed out of the first race after a series of tyre lock-ups caused a failure, before clawing his way from 30th to 14th in Race 2.

Stoner set the eighth fastest lap of the Race in the second encounter, the quickest of the 15 Holdens in the field, and is expected to be even more comfortable in his surroundings at the first permanent venue of the year this weekend.

With Stoner currently sitting 23rd in points, Russell says that limiting the points deficit during the next two events will be key to where the 27-year-old ends up come December.

“I think he and I would both be disappointed if, once we get into the thick of it, we’re not racing for the front (positions),” said Russell, who last year engineered rookie Scott Pye to second in the final series standings, when asked of Stoner’s title chances.

“But I think that because the championship’s only seven rounds there will be a learning process.

“So the question is can you do enough in those first three races to put yourself in the right position for the end? If you look at what Scott (Pye) achieved last year, anything’s possible.”

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