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Crash.net's MotoGP top ten: 4th
18 November 2010
4 - Casey Stoner
After seeing Casey Stoner's performance on his Honda debut, and the relative pace of Valentino Rossi during his Ducati debut, it is tempting to place Stoner far higher up the list.
And if you compare Stoner to the other Ducati riders this season, he was once again in a league of his own, winning three races and claiming a total of nine podiums, compared with just one podium for all the other Ducati riders combined.
On the other hand Stoner must take a large portion of blame for crashing out of five races this year (only Espargaro, Kallio and Capirossi failed to finish more races).
That hurt Stoner in terms of the championship, where he finished fourth, despite third-place Valentino Rossi breaking his leg (out for four races) and runner-up Dani Pedrosa fracturing his collarbone (out for three races).
Stoner's Honda debut looks to have finally sunk the theory that the Ducati was built around him, to the detriment of other riders, and it was a close argument as to whether his superior race wins - and results relative to other riders on the same bike - mean he should be ranked above Rossi (two wins).
In the end, we judged Stoner against his own previous results.
Despite no injuries or sickness, Stoner won fewer races for Ducati this year than in his three previous seasons at the Italian factory, while his fourth place in the championship is his equal-worst as a Desmosedici rider, alongside 2009 (when he missed four races).
As a result, we left Stoner in his championship ranking, but if the Valencia test is anything to go by we expect to place him far higher in 2011.
Statistics - Casey Stoner:
Ducati Desmosedici GP10
18 (out of 18)
1st (Aragon, Motegi, Phillip Island)
Crash.net's Top 10 MotoGP riders of 2010:
4. Casey Stoner
5. Ben Spies
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Marco Simoncelli
9. Randy de Puniet
10. Alvaro Bautista
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