Stoner wins World Championship in all Honda podium
Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner has clinched the 2011 MotoGP World Championship title 2011 with a superb victory in the Australian Grand Prix, in front of 43,880 spectators who cheered him on his way to his ninth win of the season and the first World title for Honda in the 800cc era.
Andrea Dovizioso, third, returned to the podium for the first time since Brno, and Dani Pedrosa, fourth, just missed out after four podiums in a row. Honda occupied the top four spots today in Phillip Island with Stoner, Simoncelli, Dovizioso and Pedrosa.
With Jorge Lorenzo out of the race due to his injury sustained in warm up this morning, Stoner needed just 10 points to be crowned Champion, but he remained loyal to his style and secured his fifth consecutive win at Phillip Island within the first seven laps, after he managed to pull away and took an advantage of seven seconds from the rest of the field.
With the dominance of Stoner up front, the excitement moved to the group of Simoncelli, Dovizioso and Pedrosa in the fight for the podium and remained undetermined until the end when the rain came with four laps to the checkered flag . At that time, Andrea was three seconds ahead of Dani and caught Simoncelli, with whom he has fought for second place until the last lap.
Today, Honda also claimed their 60th Constructor's World Title and with the Rider's Title in Stoners' hands, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa maintain their fight for third place in the Championship. The Italian remains third, now four points ahead of Dani who is in fourth place.
CASEY STONER – 1st – World Championship Position: 1st with 325 points and New World Champion
"I don't think anyone could plan things to happen better than they have today! The race was incredibly difficult, the conditions we're very tough. I built up an early lead as I saw the rain coming in, but I wasn't sure if it would hit us. I basically ran into a wall of rain, there wasn't any warning at the back part of the circuit and I came into the last turn and the rain started hard. I nearly lost control and thought for sure I was going to end up in the gravel. I managed to control it and maintain the gap to everyone and thankfully bring it home for the win, but it was a little bit nerve-racking for sure. I'm really sorry that Jorge had the accident this morning, he's great competitor and I think if he'd been here racing today things might not have turned out the way they have, I hope his operation goes well and he's back racing as soon as he feels fit. I can't thank everyone enough , my team, Repsol, all our sponsors, everyone that has worked so hard all year, thank you!".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 3rd – World Championship Position: 3rd with 212 points
"It was a difficult race as we expected, this track is very tricky, as are the weather conditions. To return on the podium and arrive in front of Dani here at Phillip Island is a very good result for us and it was our target before getting here. I think we could have even finished in second position but when Dani overtook me in the middle of the race we lost contact with Simoncelli, then I retook the position when the rain came, but on the final lap I didn't have enough grip to push hard in the last few corners. Anyway we are still fighting for the third place in the Championship and I'm sure Dani will be strong in the last two races, but we will try to do our best until the end. Casey has had an amazing season, he is the fastest rider at the moment, so congratulations to him for the title".
DANI PEDROSA – 4th – World Championship Position: 4th with 208 points
"It's been very tough today, I didn't feel comfortable throughout the weekend and the race didn't start in the best way either. I had a problem with the wind at the start, I almost lost balance and I had to put the left foot on the floor at the same time as the red light went out, so I had a bad start. The first few laps were not so good, then I recovered slightly, I overtook Andrea and fought with him but the front tyre was finished in the last laps. When I tried to pull away I was loosing the front, so I couldn't keep him behind and then the rain arrived. It's not been a good weekend for me, I want to say congratulations to Casey for his title, he's been the strongest this season, always on the podium, with no mistakes, so he deserves it".
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO - HRC EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
"The feeling is of course very happy, today I can relax little bit, because almost every night I wake up thinking about something, doing some memo to remember to check or do something... this is my first feeling after the race! I want to say to all Honda fans and sponsors, thank you very much for your support and especially to all Honda people and in particular to everyone at HRC and in Honda R&D centre. Then I'd like to thank the Repsol Honda Team crew, all of them! A big thanks to all our Honda riders that push each other during this season and achieved great results. Then of course I want to thank Casey Stoner. He did a great job since the first day he rode the RC212V and he brings great enthusiasm to everybody in HRC. Tonight we will celebrate, but starting from tomorrow morning we will start working again to finish this season at top, win the Team Championship and to prepare th e 2012 new challenge with the 1000cc".