17 Oct 2011

Casey Stoner champion

This blog is not about what is hot in the news, in any field, and I am usually pretty late in commenting sporting events anyway, these being just about the only part of what is called "news" with which I have decided to deal in any form. But I was very pleased to learn that Casy Stoner (the motorcycle GP rider, for those not into bikes) yesterday won the Australian GP bike race. Yesterday also happened to be his birthday, and the race took place on his home circuit of Philip Island, thus also making him world champion before the end of the current season. His rival, Jorge Lorenzo, who was the only other rider that looked capable of beating him this year, crashed in the race, thus losing his last chances of retaining his title.

Although Stoner has at times seemed fragilised, both in body and in mind, when riding for Ducati in past seasons, he brilliantly won the championship in 2007 for them and has clearly dominated this season for Honda, coming from behind to lead the championship table after only the fifth race, and having been sent to the floor by Rossi in one of the early races.

Although Valentino Rossi has been the dominant rider over recent years, for some reason I do not like the persona I perceive of this man. Too much the star for me. Stoner on the other hand appears more modest, and his victory with Ducati in 2007 was a hell of a performance as most people said that the bike was virtually unrideable. Not for Stoner apparently!

He is clearly a brilliant rider. His best win this year was probably at the Californian circuit of Laguna Seca. I was out riding my own everyday Ducati then, so I missed the race on TV. Here is an official video clip of it. To help you spot the guy, Stoner wears the red, yellow and and black kit (pretty nasty colours) of the Repsol Honda team, and his number is 27. Anyway he is the one doing the victory wheelie at the end, so it is not that hard to pick him out after watching this one time.

And here is his fastest lap, seen from on-board his bike.

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