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Casey Stoners MotoGP Career

Casey Stoner MotoGP Career

Stoner left MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season after winning two world Championships with Ducati in 2007 and Honda in 2011. Stoner worked as a test rider for Honda and Ducati after his MotoGP career ended, and he also raced in the Super2 class of the Australian Supercars championship for a short time.

2006: Rookie Season with Honda

Stoner and Lucio Cecchinello’s team apparently agreed in October 2005 to switch to the MotoGP class for the next season, with Yamaha’s assistance. Stoner won the pole position in only his second MotoGP event as a rookie satellite rider, although he crashed multiple times throughout the season. He ended the championship in eighth place, with his best result being a second place finish at the Turkish Grand Prix. He was leading the race until Marco Melandri passed him on the final corner.

2007: Championship Year with Ducati

For the 2007 season, Stoner was assigned to the factory Ducati squad, where he will ride with Loris Capirossi on the new 800cc Ducati Desmosedici GP7. He won his first GP title by a margin of 125 points over Dani Pedrosa. His lowest finish was a sixth place in Motegi, which was enough to give him the title that day, the first for an Italian manufacturer since Phil Read’s championship for MV Agusta in 1974. For his performance in 2007, Stoner was nominated as Young Australian of the Year.

2009 Ducati MotoGP Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden
Taken In 2009, Ducati MotoGP Legends Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden

2008: Six Wins and Runner-Up Season

Stoner won his first race of the 2008 season in Qatar, followed by two races without a podium finish. With a second-place finish at Mugello, he returned to the podium before going on a seven-race winning streak. He won three in a succession, including a lights-to-flag success at Donington, six days later leading every lap at Assen, and recovering from a major Friday crash at Sachsenring to win in the rain after Dani Pedrosa crashed, bringing him to within 20 points of the championship lead. Stoner concluded the 2008 season with six victories and 280 points, the most points ever earned without winning a championship at the time.

2009: Health Issues and Ducati Struggles

Stoner stayed with Ducati for the 2009 season, and was offered the chance to return for a fourth season in 2010. Stoner was in a three-way battle with the Fiat Yamaha duo of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo after a strong start to the season, but he was struck by an unknown illness that caused him to feel tired long before the end of races, leaving him 7 points behind Lorenzo and16 points behind Rossi after the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca on 5 July.

Stoner was eventually diagnosed with anaemia and stomach lining inflammation. However, Stoner later disputed the diagnosis, and on August 10, 2009, he stated that he would miss rounds 11, 12, and 13 in Brno, Indianapolis, and Misano, respectively, in order to recover from the sickness, which was later identified as lactose intolerance. Stoner’s replacement for the three races was Mika Kallio.

2010: Last Season Riding the Ducati

Stoner was fastest again in the test performed shortly after the Valencia round, this time driving the new 2010 version of the Desmosedici. Rossi, on the other hand, was the fastest in five of the six pre-season tests. Stoner qualified on pole for the season’s first race in Qatar and was leading when he crashed out, later admitting that it was his own fault. He also crashed out of the third round of the Le Mans, this time blaming it on the front of the bike unloading while not running at maximum speed. Despite fighting with arm pump late in the race, he took his first podium of the season at Assen.

Stoner’s first victory did not come until the twelfth round of the season, the inaugural Aragon Grand Prix. He won the delayed Japanese Grand Prix and the Phillip Island Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row. In the end, he finished fourth in the riders’ championship for the second time.

Following Lorenzo’s championship-winning season, Rossi fell out of favor with Yamaha, and Honda was no longer prepared to play second fiddle to another Japanese manufacturer, a furious game of musical chairs erupted in the MotoGP circuit, with Stoner among those who switched teams. After four years with Ducati Corse, Stoner joined Honda Racing Corporation in 2011, where he was replaced by Valentino Rossi.

Casey Stoner 14 august 2011 in Brno, Czech republic
Casey Stoner on the 14th August 2011 in Brno, Czech Republic

2011: Repsol Honda and Second Championship

In 2011, Stoner rode for the Repsol Honda Racing Team alongside Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. Stoner was the fastest in all three preseason testing sessions in Malaysia, followed by Pedrosa and defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner won the season-opening race in Qatar from pole position, and he was the fastest in each of the free practice sessions.

Stoner qualified first for the Spanish Grand Prix, but was second behind Marco Simoncelli after he was taken out by Valentino Rossi’s Ducati in wet situations. Stoner won three of the first five races of the season, including Le Mans and Catalunya, in addition to his victory in Qatar. With eight races remaining in the season, Stoner has a 20-point lead over Jorge Lorenzo following victories at Silverstone and Laguna Seca in damp conditions.

At his home round on Phillip Island, Australia, Stoner won the World Championship for the second time. Stoner won his ninth race of the season on his eleventh pole, and with his lone challenger Jorge Lorenzo unable to compete due to a hand injury sustained during warm-up.

2012: Final Season before Retirement

Stoner started the season with victories at Estoril and Jerez, both of which he had never won a MotoGP race before; his victory in Estoril put him in first place in the standings.  Stoner finished fourth in the Catalan Grand Prix, his first time off the podium in fourteen months.

Before a final-lap retirement at the Sachsenring while battling teammate Dani Pedrosa, Stoner was equal in points with Lorenzo. Stoner finished seventh at the Italian Grand Prix after going off-circuit, later admitting that he was “not comfortable” on the bike, but then won his fourth race of the season at Laguna Seca.

Stoner crashed hard during qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix the following day, breaking ligaments in his ankle, but was judged fit to compete the next day. He came in fourth position, 2.5 seconds behind Andrea Dovizioso. Stoner then chose to have surgery on his ankle, which forced him to miss three races and effectively eliminated him from contention for the championship.

Stoner’s first priority right now is to be fully recovered in time for his home race in Australia, and he hopes to race in the Japanese Grand Prix in October. After coming home, he placed fifth in Japan and third in Malaysia before winning his home race at Phillip Island for the sixth year in a row. With the victory, he now has an unbeaten record on Bridgestone tires at the track.

Casey Stoner MISANO ITALY 2 September 2011

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