Casey Stoner carved his name deeper into the MotoGP history books with his second World Championship victory, on his 26th birthday, and in front of his home fans at Phillip Island on Sunday.

The victory makes Stoner the only rider to win an 800cc MotoGP title for Honda, the only rider to win an 800cc title for Ducati - and undefeated during all five seasons of 800cc racing at his home track. MotoGP switches to 1000cc next year.

Stoner's first title came in 2007 and he is now the only rider in history to regain the premier-class crown after a three-year gap.

The Australian also joins Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi, Geoff Duke and Eddie Lawson in winning the premier-class crown for two different manufacturers.

Although he dominated the Australian GP weekend, and quickly built a six-second lead in the race, Stoner was given a scare when a heavy rain shower arrived with just four laps to go.

Electing, like most riders, to stay on slicks, Stoner surrendered most of his advantage but reached the flag two-seconds ahead of Honda Gresini's Marco Simoncelli.

"Phillip Island doesn't let you go home without a wet session and we got it during the race!" smiled Stoner. "I nearly went off like some of the others, I was lucky to stay on because I think I was the first person to hit that wall of rain.

"I went into the last turn and as soon as I cracked the throttle open the rear wheel came around. My heart was up in my throat. I took it very gingerly for the next laps just to bring it home. I didn't know how hard to push, as I didn't have any other riders around me.

"I just wanted to make sure we went home as world champions today, but I also didn't want to give up the race win. We managed to do both."

Stoner only needed a top six finish to decide the title, with two rounds still to go, after Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo suffered a nasty finger injury in morning warm-up, which forced him to miss the race.

"That wasn't real good what happened to Jorge," said Stoner. "When I saw everybody out in the gravel trap and they were looking for the end of his finger - because they didn't know how bad it was at the beginning - that made me feel a bit sick.

"Him going through that sort of injury - it's not a nice thing. The hands are what we have to work with on the bike. I spoke to Jorge and he's in a good state. My thoughts go out to him. We have a good relationship and there is respect between us. I hope everything goes well with the operation and he's back for Malaysia.

"I think it would have been very difficult to win the championship today if Jorge was racing. We only needed to finish in the top six, but I wanted to win this one. I think the only thing that could make today better would have been to have my child born today!"

Reflecting on his inspired move from Ducati to Honda this season, Stoner commented:

"We've had a fairly rough road over the last few years. I had a wrist in pieces and lactose intolerance to get over. But we've come back this year very strong with a new team and new bike, that I find just fantastic to ride.

"Repsol Honda is a team I've wanted to ride for, for a long time. To get the opportunity to come here was top priority and we haven't looked back. We haven't been worse than third in the races we've finished. I think that combined with trying to win as many races as possible is what brought us this title.

"This title definitely feels better than in 2007. Then we were criticised for all kinds of things 'we had the best bike, the best tyres'. Things like that. This year no-one has any excuses. There are three other riders on the same bike.

"Also this year we pulled points back from a bad position. A DNF [when he was taken down by Rossi at Jerez]. Whereas in 2007 we didn't.

"It also feels special because Honda has struggled for these past years. Winning the first and last 800cc titles feels great."

Stoner claimed that he didn't dare dream he could achieve so much success in his first season with the RC212V.

"It was definitely a surprise to win so much this year. With the competition the way it is and after [the Jerez crash] to pull up to a 44-point lead at one stage is something we're really happy with.

"With Honda we just found a real home with the bike. Even on a bad day we're able to push the bike a little bit more and challenge for a race win, no matter how bad the set-up is. That's something we're really happy with, to challenge at each track.

"I've made some mistakes and some set-up mistakes, but for us a bad day this year was third. I'd say Laguna and Brno were my best races this year, we didn't have the set-up perfectly right but we did something extra for those races to overcome our competitors."

Stoner punched the air with delight as he crossed the finish line before soaking up the applause of the home fans.

"Maybe I don't put on a show like some other people, but I know what the feeling is like inside. That's really all that matters. As long as I'm happy and the people around me are happy that's the most important thing.

"Now I'll just go down the garage and celebrate with the boys for a bit and I'm sure there will be something organised for later on.

"The first title was a dream, the second one is reality. Definitely," Stoner explained. "The first one - it was hard to realise what had actually happened.

"But this one, we know we've had the chance to win it all season. This one really cements what we did last time."

Stoner will be chasing his tenth win of the year in next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.


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