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Stoner savours second world title

"This title definitely feels better than in 2007. Then we were criticised for 'the best bike, the best tyres'. This year no-one has any excuses" – Casey Stoner.
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."




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