Casey Stoner: Six of the best

22 Nov

he Valencia season finale saw double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner bring his stellar grand prix career to a close, at the age of just 27.

The Australian leaves the sport having amassed 88 podiums and 45 wins during his eleven seasons. Most significantly, 38 of those victories were in the premierMotoGP category, which Stoner joined in 2006.

Stoner is the fourth most successful rider in the 63 year history of the premier-class, between Mick Doohan and Mike Hailwood, and equal-seventh for wins in all classes.

To celebrate Stoner’s career, here are six of his greatest MotoGP wins…

Number 6: 2012 Spanish MotoGP, Jerez – Round 2: We start in Spain, where Stoner marked the beginning of the ‘Ground War’ in his second title defence with a crushing victory in his main competitors’ backyard. Jerez had always been one of Stoner’s bogey circuits and among just two tracks he had not previously won at.

Having suffered chronic chatter issues throughout winter testing, Stoner also entered the second round worrying about the arm pump issues that plagued his opening race in Qatar. Jerez was arguably a Yamaha circuit too; the tight twists and short straights playing to the agility of Lorenzo’s M1.

Qualifying did little to disprove those worries. Team-mate Pedrosa and Lorenzo dominated, with next best Nicky Hayden over one-second behind in third. Stoner qualified fifth and most predicted a repeat of the epic Lorenzo/Pedrosa 2010 encounter.

The Moto2 race had ended prematurely because of light drizzle and the clouds around the track looked dark and ominous. MotoGP began with damp patches but all riders believed slicks to be the only tyre of choice.

The field threaded into turn one timidly and grouped closely together for the first three laps, no one wanting to risk it all as a guinea pig for others. After warming his tyres and working out grip levels, Stoner took the lead on lap 3 with Lorenzo following closely behind.

The pair were then locked in a relentless cat-and-mouse scrap for the rest of the race, with Pedrosa and Crutchlow just over two seconds back.

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in BIKE


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