He’s been called lots of things, from Rolling Stoner, Crashy Stoner to Stacey Moaner, but one thing about this Aussie is that he knows how to win in rampant style.
These are the relevant bits and pieces from the race for those who missed it:
Motorland Aragon made its MotoGP debut and it looks the boss. However, the inclusion of Aragon in MotoGP now makes it 4 Spanish tracks in a season, so perhaps either Jerez or Catalunya needs to be cut off, even for 1 trial season?
Prior to the race, this trivbit was disseminated across Social Networkingland: If Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo wins the race, the series is assured of a Spanish Champion, as only Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will be able to mathematically challenge him. Will Jorge be able to fulfill this?
Friday and Saturday.
Honda man Dani Pedrosa immediately threw down the gauntlet as he dominated in the early practice session. Casey Stoner was the surprise of the day as he topped the 2nd wet practice session.
Casey Stoner continued to surprise as he denied both Spanish frontrunners the chance to be pole in their home turf. Jorge Lorenzo was 2nd and Dani Pedrosa 3rd. The 2nd Ducati of Nicky Hayden was 4th while Rising Star Ben Spies of Tech3 was 5th, while reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi had to line up at 7th.
The Aussie may have snuck in pole position, but majority of the crowd and fans still banked on a Spanish winner, and who can blame them, considering the Ducati’s mercurial characteristics, coupled with Stoner’s on-off form? However, any doubts over Stoner’s intent to win were promptly erased as he rocketed off the starting line, with Lorenzo following close and Hayden getting the better off his ex-teammate Pedrosa, who lost 3 places at the get-go.
If there’s anything that this season has proved, it’s the fact that the wee man of Honda has banished the ghost of his ‘timid on-track personality’ past, as he charged through the field like a man possessed, taking on Spies, Hayden, then Lorenzo to take 2nd position and started hunting down the Aussie in red.
For a few laps, Pedrosa started cutting down Stoner’s lead, but as the race went on, whatever the Honda man threw at Stoner, the Aussie man threw back at him two-fold, and as the latter part of the race drew on, it became clear that this was truly Stoner’s race to lose.
Cut to the battles that made the race:
Nicky Hayden never strayed beyond inches of Jorge Lorenzo’s rear tyre throughout the race, and in the last lap, the 2006 World Champion resurrected his once dominant form as he completed a ballsy pass on the Yamaha man to steal 3rd and the last podium position, much to the astonishment of the crowd.
Meanwhile, Ben Spies showed that he is worth Yamaha’s gamble, as his grit and sheer determination got him a well-deserved 5th place, ahead of Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who seemed to have been out-psyched by the Texan as he crashed out with barely a lap to go.
Interesting facts and questions from the race:
-It took Ducati 13 Rounds before winning a race this season.
-The last time that no Yamaha rider made it to the podium was in Valencia, 2007.
-This is the first time in 13 rounds that Jorge Lorenzo failed to make it to the podium (he allegedly was in a stroppy mood after the race and didn’t get to ‘properly’ acknowledge the fans as he rode back to Parc Ferme. How true is this?)
-Does Ducati’s win means their dry spell is coming to a close, and that Valentino Rossi is in ‘safe’ hands for 2011?
–Colin Edwards has been confirmed by Tech 3 Yamaha for 2011. He will partner British rider and current Yamaha WSBK rider Cal Crutchlow.
–Dani Pedrosa has cut down Lorenzo’s Championship lead to 56 points, with 5 rounds to go.
-Staying with Pedrosa, he has recently signed a 2-year contract with HRC, which means he’ll be Casey Stoner’s teammate for 2011. Who will win the #1 status at HRC?
There you have it. Stoner finally breaks his duck and takes the Duke to the top yet again. Will he shake things up between Lorenzo and Pedrosa, as Rossi continues his flirtation with anonymity, or will it be business as usual for the Spaniards in Motegi?
For those who missed all the action (and talk):