News 17 Oct 2010

MotoGP: Dominant home victory for Stoner at Phillip Island

Casey Stoner’s authoritative reign at his home track of Phillip Island continued in style on Sunday as the Ducati rider won at the circuit for the fourth year in a row.

Stoner took a popular fourth win at Phillip Island on Sunday for Australia.

Stoner took a popular fourth win at Phillip Island on Sunday for Australia.

Casey Stoner’s authoritative reign at his home track of Phillip Island continued in style on Sunday as the Ducati rider won at the circuit for the fourth year in a row.

Starting from pole position the 25 year-old led the Iveco Australian Grand Prix from start to finish as he made it a third win of 2010 in front of a partisan crowd of 41,537.

Eventually crossing the finish line 8.598s ahead of 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo it was the perfect end to a strong weekend from Stoner, who had demonstrated his pace throughout the practice and qualifying sessions, which had been run in mixed conditions.

However with bright sunshine providing ideal conditions for the race itself, Stoner had taken an advantage of over a second by the end of the first lap, winning comfortably.

“This feels really nice. I think when I won two in a row here nobody expected me to make it three but having done that I felt there was a lot of expectation on me today,” Stoner commented.

“Everything has gone well for us, we have been happy with the bike from the first practice and the support from the fans has been fantastic. I have to admit that before the race I was feeling the pressure, I was more nervous than I normally am but maybe I should be like that more often because I didn’t make a single mistake!

“I am really happy with the way I rode today but every single person in the team has done a great job this weekend so my thanks go to them and I hope we can keep it going to the end of the season.”

Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) rode a lonely race in second position as he finished almost ten seconds ahead of third-placed Valentino Rossi. For the Spaniard it was a 14th podium finish in his title-winning campaign in what was his 50th premier class start.

The fight for third place went right down to the final lap as Fiat Yamaha man Rossi edged out Nicky Hayden in what was a fantastically close battle.

The Ducati rider appeared to have got one over on his future team-mate with three laps to go when he overtook at Honda Hairpin, but Rossi returned the move at the same place on the final lap to beat the American to the final podium spot by a margin of just 0.038s.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies achieved his eighth top-five finish of his maiden MotoGP campaign and with it secured Rookie of the Year, with fellow premier class debutant Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) just under three seconds further back in sixth position.

There were top-ten finishes also for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing), Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda).

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) was the only rider who failed to finish the race after he experienced technical problems early on.

Absent due to injuries were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) – who rode in qualifying but opted not to race as he continues his recovery from a broken collarbone – and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), who sustained a groin injury in a qualifying session crash.

The pair both expect to be fit to return at Estoril in a fortnight.

The result lifted Stoner into third in the Championship standings ahead of Rossi, and with the Italian and his Spanish team-mate’s podium finishes Fiat Yamaha also secured Fiat Yamaha the Team Championship for 2010 with two rounds remaining.

Alex de Angelis took his first victory in the Moto2 class as he led his JiR Moto2 team bike across the finish line ahead of Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) and Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) in the intermediate category race.

The Sammarinese rider lined up in pole position and recovered from a start which saw him drop to fourth position before slowly entering the battle for the lead.

A strong finish to the race saw De Angelis win by a margin of 2.172s as he followed up his first podium of the year last time out in Malaysia with a first victory of 2010. It was also his first GP win since his only previous triumph, which came in Valencia in the 250cc class in 2006.

Redding rounded off an impressive weekend with his second podium of the year as he rode to second – his best Moto2 result to date. The 17 year-old Brit showed great determination and maturity to challenge at the front of the race for the most part, eventually placing second having started from the same position on the grid.

In third position Iannone came in a fraction over eight-tenths of a second behind Redding, as he suffered from rear-tyre issues towards the end, having gone with the softer Dunlop option. The Italian had also been part of the leading group for the majority of the race, having engaged in a thrilling battle with the two riders who finished ahead of him. It was his seventh podium of the campaign as he moved to within two points of Julián Simón in the fight for second position in the overall standings.

The Mapfre Aspar rider ended the race in fourth position, ahead of Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) and team-mate Mike di Meglio, the German equalling his best result of the season so far and the Frenchman recording his highest placement in the category to date.

2010 World Champion Toni Elías (Gresini Racing) came out on top in an engrossing contest for seventh position, ahead of Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2), Alex Debón (Aeroport de Castelló-Ajo) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who completed the top ten. Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Racing) had also been involved for much of the race and ended 11th.

In the 125cc class Marc Márquez’s ninth win of the season stretched the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider’s lead at the top of the World Championship standings to 12 points as he triumphed from pole position. The 17 year-old also equalled Jorge Martínez’s 1988 record as the Spanish rider with the most wins in the category in a single season as he strengthened his title charge with just two rounds remaining.

Taking the chequered flag 6.062s clear of the rest of the field having opened up an early lead Márquez finished well ahead of title rivals Pol Espargaró and Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar), who had competed closely for the remaining two podium positions during the race. Espargaró eventually finished just over five seconds clear of Terol however as the Tuenti Racing rider put in a strong final stage of the race.

The round 15 result leaves Márquez on 272 points at the top of the standings, with Terol now on 260 and Espargaró on 255 with the Estoril and Valencia rounds to go.

In a tight battle for fourth position which required a video finish between Efrén Vázquez and Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) the Tuenti Racing edged his British competitor, with Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) close behind in sixth.

Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany), Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing) and Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol) all secured top-ten finishes. Unfortunately for front-row starter Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) his race ended early with a crash.

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