MotoGPAustraliaOctober 16, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island Race Results

Stoner Wins 2011 MotoGP World Championship For Honda

Qualifying >>

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) won the 2011 MotoGP World Championship with a victory in difficult conditions on his home circuit of Phillip Island on his 26th birthday. Finishing behind Stoner were three Hondas, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), in a career best second, then Repsol Honda team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Stoner’s chances of winning the title greatly improved when his only title rival, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), was declared unfit to race after injuring his left hand in a crash near the end of morning warm-up. That put Stoner in position to take the championship by finishing sixth or better, though he would rather have won in a straight-up fight. Since Stoner had been on the podium in every race he’s finished this year, finishing sixth or better was never in question.

Bolting from his 11th pole position of the year, Stoner controlled the pace on a cold, blustery, but mostly sunlit day, turning the race into a battle for second. Stoner had a lead of 7.4s on the 14th of 27 laps and was well on his way to victory when a light, then heavy rain threatened to turn the race chaotic in the final stages. Two riders pitted to change to motorcycles with rain set-ups, and three others fell, but Stoner survived one harrowing moment, maintained his composure and sped to his fifth consecutive victory at Phillip Island, today by 2.21s.

The win gave him a untouchable championship lead over Lorenzo of 325 to 260, with only 50 points remaining in the final two races in Malaysia and Valencia.

The title was Stoner’s second; he also won the 2007 MotoGP World Championship, giving him the distinction of opening and closing the 800cc era as world champion.

The victory came on a day when Honda celebrated their 60th Constructors Championship and 18th in the premier class, and 15th riders championship in the premier class. Honda has an insurmountable 75 point lead, 380 to 305, over Yamaha with two races remaining.

Though Stoner’s win was never in doubt, the same couldn’t be said of the other podium positions. By the fourth of 27 laps, Honda riders held the top four spots and began an inter-family battle that would go down to the final lap. Simoncelli took over second on the second lap and held the position almost to the end. Only on the 25th lap did Dovizioso find a way past, holding the position for two laps. But on the final lap, when the track was again dry, Simoncelli re-asserted himself to finish second, a career best in the premier class. Dovi was third at .244s, with Pedrosa dropping off the pace at the end to finish fourth.

What wasn’t known at the time was that Pedrosa’s front tyre had degraded, taking away his corner entry speed and forcing him to abandon the podium fight. Rather than risk crashing, and losing valuable championship points, he made the wise decision to secure fourth, and give Honda a top four sweep.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) survived the adverse conditions to finish eighth, tying his season best. Elias was again troubled by rear grip issues, caused by the dropping temperature. Still, he rode a smart, calculated race using his experience to avoid the traps that befell a number of others.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was also having a good race when he crashed four laps from the end on a wet track. At the time, the Japanese rider was immersed in a scrap with two other riders for eighth. One of the other riders also fell, leaving only ten finishers.

Aoyama will be joining the World Superbike Championship aboard a Honda in 2012 and wants to finish his MotoGP career strongly in the final two races.

The Moto2 World Championship delivered yet more stirring races for all three podium positions. Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2 – MotoBI) won the Australian GP for the second year in a row after a desperate last lap maneuver by Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing – Kalex) nearly took both of them out. The move came early on the last lap when Bradl tried to re-pass de Angelis, who had taken the lead in turn one on the last of 25 laps. Heading into the Southern Loop, Bradl tried sticking his nose up the inside of de Angelis as they leaned left, but de Angelis had left him no room and Bradl rammed the San Marinese.

De Angelis stayed upright, while Bradl fought to keep control of the bike. The failed move effectively ended his hopes of victory, with de Angelis beating him to the flag by 1.358s.

Equally exciting was the battle for third, waged between Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team – Suter) and Marc Marquez, the Team CaixaCatalunya Repsol – Suter rider and championship leader who started on the back row. Marquez had been penalised by race direction for a practice incident, but that only seemed to serve as motivation.

The young Spaniard made quick progress through the field, moving into 16th ending the first lap and fourth by lap 12 of 25. Now he had Corti in his sights. Marquez caught the young Italian on the 16th lap and made the pass a lap later. It was clear Marquez had the faster motorcycle and he was able to rebuff every challenge.

On the final lap Corti had one last go out of MG Corner, a slow right, but he wheelied and Marquez jetted ahead to solidify his position, denying Corti his first ever Moto2 podium by .113s.

The exercise in damage control paid off for Marquez. Though he lost the championship lead to Bradl, it’s only by three points, 254 to 251.

The MotoGP World Championship flies straight to Sepang, Malaysia for the last of the flyaways next weekend. The action then returns to Europe for the season finale at Valencia, Spain, on November 6.

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“I don't think anyone could plan things to happen better than they have today! The race was incredibly difficult, the conditions were 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-wracking for sure. I'm really sorry that Jorge (Lorenzo) had the accident this morning. He's a 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.”

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 2nd
“I am delighted! It was a really tough race with changeable conditions throughout and every time I saw raindrops on my visor I was unsure whether I could push or not. I managed to put a little gap on Dovizioso and Pedrosa, but when the rain came Dovizioso was able to catch me and make a pass. I managed to stay with him and follow his lines so when the track was dry again on the last lap I was able to throw everything at him and make the pass. I had been second for the whole race and I didn't want to give up on it until the end. It was nice to finish directly behind the new world champion. I feel sorry for (Jorge) Lorenzo and I hope he is fit and back on track again soon.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“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, Repsol Honda: 4th
“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 ground 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 losing 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.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 8th
“This was a difficult race for us because the weather was pretty bad and in these conditions we always suffer very much. I can not warm up the rear tyre properly and since the beginning of the race I have suffered edge grip issues. We have been lucky because some riders crashed out in the last part of the race and we could finish in the top ten. Hopefully we can adjust the bike for next race in Sepang where the temperature is totally different.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: DNF
“It has been a very difficult race because of the strong winds and the mixed conditions. I really wanted to have a good race because these are my last few races in MotoGP, but this weekend has been particularly difficult with the crash yesterday and then again today in turn nine when a sudden rain shower hit that part of the track. I am really disappointed and hope to make up for it next week in Malaysia.”

Alex de Angelis, JiR Moto2-MotoBI: Race winner
“I'm super happy with this victory and the weekend in general. This morning we had many problems because of the wind then in the race I tried to settle my confidence in the tyres and then remain attached to Bradl as I knew he would try to get away. We suddenly got an advantage on the other riders, but he was very fast. I've recently suffered a lack of performance, but here we were able to do an excellent job on my MotoBI that allowed me to play all my cards. Lap after lap I realised that the race would be resolved in the last one so I used the second position to be well-prepared for my attempt to overtake. I knew that I had a small advantage on that bend and I tried, I threw myself into it and it went well. Then he attempted to gain the position back, we also touched but with a little luck we were both undamaged, these are things that can happen in racing so close. This victory is a worthy conclusion to a perfect weekend I have to thank my team and all those who work for me.

Stefan Bradl, Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex: 2nd
“I immediately noticed that I could ride faster than the guys ahead of me. So I saw that I quickly could reach them and take over the lead. I also knew that Alex (DeAngelis) can indeed ride me behind good, but in the lead the work is more difficult. With my attack on the last lap he expected it, but it came from we touched and I am glad that I finished the race at all. I would have liked to win, but we have taken over the championship lead back and we’ll see how it goes in Malaysia.”

Marc Marquez, Team CaixaCatalunya Repsol-Suter: 3rd
“The race was very tough, the most difficult of the year. The high wind made it even more complicated and, as the time of the race got near, I must confess that I was getting nervous, because starting last the race would always be very difficult. I was lucky to do a great start, which I think was the most important. With the team we had set us the aim to gather points, but in the end, the third position is a result I would signed for before starting, because from the last place, to lose only four points from Bradl is a result with which we must be very happy. I want to thank the team for the job they did during the weekend, because they prepared two bikes and worked a lot, finishing in the early morning, so this podium is for all of them.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island

1 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
7 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
8 Toni ELIAS (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9 Loris CAPIROSSI (Pramac Racing Team)
10 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) & Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team) & Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / JIR Moto2)
2 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
3 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
4 Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)
5 Pol ESPARGARO (HP Tuenti Speed Up)
6 Kenan SOFUOGLU (Technomag-CIP)
7 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
9 Mike DI MEGLIO (Tech 3 Racing)
10 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Gresini Racing Moto2)
11 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
12 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
13 Aleix ESPARGARO (Pons HP 40)
14 Michele PIRRO (Gresini Racing Moto2)
15 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
1 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
2 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
3 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
4 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
5 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia Banca)
6 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
7 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
8 Maverick VINALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
9 Louis ROSSI (Matteoni Racing)
10 Danny WEBB (Mahindra Racing)
11 Marcel SCHROTTER (Mahindra Racing)
12 Luigi MORCIANO (Team Italia FMI)
13 Jakub KORNFEIL (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14 Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)
15 Sturla FAGERHAUG (WTR-Ten10 Racing)
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