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GP Week : Issue 173
T wo kings were crowned at Phillip Island, and one princeling slapped down. The first was King Casey – the new nickname for the retiring champion from his armies of Australian fans at his last appearance for his home GP. Unsure on arrival whether his increasingly troublesome ankle injury would allow it, Stoner then jumped on the Repsol Honda and dominated the whole weekend. In this way he claimed a record sixth win in succession at the scenic and spectacularly popular Phillip Island circuit, just days after his favourite corner there had been given his name: “I was pretty nervous before,” he admitted. “But conditions were fantastic for a Phillip Island race. I was focused on Jorge, but when there were only a couple of laps and I had a big lead, I really enjoyed the last laps. I saw the whole crowd waving me on. It was a fantastic feeling.” It was exactly how he’d planned to close his account at his home track. The second was King Jorge. Lorenzo claimed the championship with yet another well-calculated second place. It would have been enough anyway to secure his second crown – because of the fallen princeling. Dani Pedrosa needed to win to keep his title hopes alive, and he was leading when it all went wrong on only the second lap. He was wide into Honda Hairpin, “then I got a bit of chatter, and lost the front” . The Repsol Honda skittered off the track, and – after winning five of the last six races – so did the luckless rider. The front two were separated by almost 10 seconds at the end; less than five behind came the lone Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha). Fighting off bronchitis and a high fever, he’d got away ahead of his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and the Honda pair Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista, and at 35 GPWEEK.com // 35 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> PHILLIP ISLAND