Casey Stoner crowded World Champion at home GP
Today Casey Stoner has claimed the MotoGP World Championship for the second time in his career by taking victory on home soil in the Australian Grand Prix.
Casey couldn't have dreamt a better way to accomplish it: in his first 'match point' of the season, dominating as he has done throughout the year, he scored the victory in front of his fans on the day of his 26th birthday.
A young Casey moved to England with his family just after his 14th birthday to follow his dream of riding in the premier category. Casey could not legally road race in Australia until he was 16, but had decided he was ready for the challenge, so the decision was made to move to England where Casey was already of legal age to race. A big risk to take, but it paid off.
He attracted immediate sponsorship after just one race in England and went on to take the English 125cc Aprilia Championship in 2000, his first year of road racing. Also in that year he raced in two rounds of the Spanish 125cc Championship, where he was noticed by Alberto Puig. Alberto was impressed by Casey's determination and skill and invited him to race for the Telefonica Movistar Team in the 125cc Spanish Championships the next year.
In 2001 Casey raced in both the English and Spanish Championships during the same year. Despite missing some English races due to clashes with Spanish rounds, he still managed to come second in both Championships. In that same year he was also granted wildcard entries into the MotoGP 125cc world series, in both England and Australia, his first visit to Phillip Island. He placed 18th and 12th respectively and as a result was offered a ride in the Grand Prix world series the next year for the Safilo Oxydo LCR team.
Straight onto a 250cc machine in his rookie year, and at only 16 years of age, Casey demonstrated his ability and speed with results. His best result for the year was a 5th at Brno as well as several 6th place finishes. In 2003 he went on to ride for Lucio and Safilo Oxydo LCR in the 125cc GP series and took four podium finishes and his first race win, in Valencia, at the end of the season. His first win in a GP race was a huge turning point for Casey and his career.
In 2004, at 18 years of age, Casey moved to KTM for a season where he helped to develop the team's 125cc bike into a winning machine. That year he made it to the podium six times and took KTM's first ever win in a GP class. 2005 saw Casey once again come back under the welcoming umbrella of Lucio Cecchinello's team, this time riding an official 250cc Aprilia. He spent 2005 battling it out with Dani Pedrosa for the championship, visiting the podium ten times in the process and taking wins in Portugal, Shanghai, Qatar, Sepang, and Istanbul.
Finally in 2006, at twenty years of age, Casey accomplished his long held ambition of racing in MotoGP, the fastest and most prestigious of the classes. He set pole position in his second MotoGP race in Qatar and battled for the win until the final corner in the GP of Turkey, finishing runner-up just a fraction behind winner Melandri. Too many errors conditioned the second part of the year, but Casey, in finishing eighth overall in his rookie MotoGP season, demonstrated that he was able to challenge amongst the elite group.
In 2007 Casey Stoner joined the Ducati Marlboro Team alongside Loris Capirossi, with whom he has struck up a good friendship. In his debut on the new bike at the first race of the year in Qatar he took victory. Then on September 23rd, in Japan, after a dominant season winning 10 races, Stoner secured his first MotoGP World Championship and became the second youngest premier-class World Champion, after American legend Freddie Spencer won his and Honda's first 500cc Rider's Championship in 1983, and at the time was 84 days younger than the 21 year old Stoner.
With two races remaining in the MotoGP World Championship, Casey has enjoyed a wonderful season to date with 9 victories, 1 second place, 5 third positions for a total of 15 podiums and 11 poles in his first season with the Repsol Honda Team. He has secured his second career World title and has become the first rider to have won the title twice in his first year on a new machine (in 2007 in his first year on a Ducati and in 2011 in his first season on an 800cc Honda). Casey has finished on the podium in every race except one (Jerez), where he was taken out in a racing incident.
In addition to these 15 podiums positions, Casey has also recorded new lap records at six circuits this season, he broke the records at Silverstone, Mugello, Indianapolis, Misano, Aragon and Motegi.
In his previous Championship winning year of 2007, Casey had 10 victories, 2 second places and 2 third places. He finished every race and his lowest ranking was 6th.
Casey has won a total of 39 Grands Prix since his debut in the 125cc category at the British GP at Donnington Park in 2001. His first win coming in 2003 at Valencia again in the 125cc class. 32 of these victories taking place in the premier class. He has enjoyed 78 podiums, 58 of which have been in MotoGP and 37 poles, 33 in MotoGP.
Since his debut in MotoGP in 2006, Casey has won 32 Grands Prix making him the most successful rider of the last six seasons and 5th overall in premier class victories, behind Rossi (79), Agostini (68), Doohan (54) and Hailwood (37). CASEY STONER
CASEY STONER – 2011 MotoGP World Champion
"It's an incredible day, we've been waiting for it for sometime now and we knew we had the opportunity to make it happen here. This morning's crash of Jorge was not the manner in which we wanted to win, no racer would ever wish this on anyone else especially someone I respect this much and I wish him a safe and speedy recovery. Going into the race we had the momentum and it was more or less our Championship to lose so we were going to do everything we could to win the race today, but to come away with the Championship today is just fantastic. A huge thanks to Honda, my team, all our sponsors especially Repsol and everyone that has worked so hard this year, it's a great achievement for us. Now for the remaining few races I just want to enjoy my racing and enjoy knowing that I'm World Champion".