Australian MotoGP champions Casey Stoner, Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner each unveiled a bronze statue in their honour, on Saturday at Phillip Island.

Gardner, Australia's first premier-class champion in 1987 and winner of the opening pair of Phillip Island 500cc races, said: "It's a great honour. Amazing. This event has grown so much in the last 25 years. It's broadcast all around the world, has huge recognition and it all started with my career. So I'm extremely proud. And now to have a monument. I'm lost for words."

Speaking of son Remy, racing in his second grand prix as a wild-card this weekend, Gardner added: "It's his second Grand Prix but his first one proper one with his own bike. He was 25th this morning out of 34 riders. It's a good start. I'm impressed I just want him to keep it upright, enjoy the weekend and learn from the experience."

Next up was five time 500cc world champion Doohan, who after unveiling his statue said: "I had a hell of a lot of fun out there when I was competing, but this is great. For a circuit like this, Phillip Island, to have another attraction at the visitor centre - I guess it's something for the seagulls to rest on, or do other things!

"They've done a fantastic job here and I want to thank the Grand Prix Corporation for what they've done for this grand prix."

Asked about the likeness of the bronze bust, Doohan replied: "It looks like somebody many years ago! They all look great and hopefully we can add to them with some new guys coming through."

Stoner, Australia's most recent world champion for Ducati (2007) and Honda (2011), then unveiled his statue before talking about the achievements of Gardner and Doohan:

"These guys paved the way for us really. They helped put Australia on the map and gave us something to aim for and achieve. Basically a never give up attitude came from these guys and what they had to keep going through with things like injuries."

Stoner set an incredible record of six successive Phillip Island wins from 2007 to 2012.

"The first in 2007 was unreal. Just off the back of winning the championship was fantastic. At the same time the one in 2011, when we also won the world championship on that day and it was my birthday. So many things aligned.

"Then my last year, last race here [2012]. Same kind of thing. I came back prematurely from injury basically for this race and we managed to win it. There's not one win that stands out, but those few I would say were slightly above."



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