Stoner joy at hat-trick as Rossi closes in on title
Monday 19 October 2009
Casey Stone claimed his third successive win at the Australian Grand Prix on a day when Valentino Rossi moved a step closer to retaining his MotoGP world championship.
Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi finished second behind Stoner but more importantly, saw his team-mate and nearest title rival, Jorge Lorenzo fail to make it beyond the first corner after the Spaniard tangled with Nicky Hayden.
Ducati rider Stoner looked comfortable at the front as he led home Rossi by two seconds to claim a hat-trick of triumphs at his home event – and his first win since returning from the illness which sidelined him for three races earlier this season.
Rossi's near-perfect day saw him move onto 270 points – a lead of 38 over Lorenzo with two races remaining. "It was the most fun second place of my career because it was a great battle with Casey and the level was fantastic," Rossi told the BBC. "I tried with all my energy, all my speed, but Casey rode very well and at the end it was impossible and I also have to think of the championship. With Jorge out, we have a good advantage."
Stoner, meanwhile, was delighted to claim his third win of the season on his birthday weekend, a result which moved him into third place in the riders' standings. "The whole team's done a fantastic job," he said. "We spent those three races away to fix myself up, they've been doing as much as they can with the bike and these things just helped us a little bit and made this weekend possible.
"It's definitely a big step from what we were in the middle of the season. It's nice to be able to fight for victories. Even if I didn't win today, I'd have had a ball."
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took a distant third place while Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis was fourth. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) took fifth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), while Marco Melandri (Hayate), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Toni Elias (Honda Gresini) completed the top 10. Britain's James Toseland came home 14th on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.
In the 125cc race Spaniard Julian Simon clinched the championship in style, overtaking Britain's Bradley Smith on the final lap to win the Australian Grand Prix.
Simon, who held a 501/2-point lead over nearest challenger and Bacanja Aspar team-mate Smith in the championship standings, overcame a poor start to reel in the Briton.
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Sergio Ramos to Manchester United: Transfer news live - Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Wimbledon 2015: 'Heather Watson deserved to win the match,' concedes world No 1 Serena Williams after gruelling contest
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture