Casey Stoner | 2010 MotoGP Profile

Casey Stoner Profile

As a toddler Casey Stoner displayed a passion and talent for motorbike riding that was extraordinary, even by the standards of his bike-mad family. By the age of three he’d already graduated from pushing his older sister’s (Kelly) 50cc Peewee around the yard to taking his first ride on his own.

At four years of age Casey competed in his first race in the under 9s category at the Hatchers dirt racing track on the Gold Coast. By the age of six he had won his first Australia title. Many, many hours of riding, travelling and long nights working on bikes followed. Between the ages of 6 and 14 Casey raced all over Australia, travelling with his father (Colin), mother (Bronwyn) and sister (Kelly)

In that time Casey won 41 Australian dirt and long track titles and over 70 State titles, riding up to 5 bikes at a meeting in different capacity categories.

When he was twelve Casey raced the Australian Long Track Titles on the NSW Central Coast in 5 different categories with seven rounds in each capacity; a total of 35 races over the one weekend! He won 32 out of those 35 races and took five out of five Australian titles in the one meet.

Just after his 14th birthday Casey and his parents decided to make the move overseas and packed up and headed to England to start his road racing career. Casey could not legally road race in Australia until he was 16, but had decided he was ready for the challenge. So the decision was made to move to England where Casey was already of legal age to race. A big risk to take, but it paid off.

Casey was lucky enough and talented enough to attract immediate sponsorship after just one race in England. He went on to take out the English 125cc Aprilia Championship in 2000, in his first year of road racing.

In that year he also raced two rounds of the Spanish 125cc Championship. It was there he was noticed by GP great Alberto Puig. Alberto was impressed by Casey’s determination and skill and invited him to race for the Telefonica Movistar Team in the 125cc Spanish Championships the next year.

In 2001 Casey raced in both the English and Spanish championships in the same year. Despite missing some English races due to clashes with Spanish rounds, he still managed to come second in both championships. In that same year he was also granted wildcard entries into the MotoGP 125cc world series, in both England and Australia. He placed 18th and 12th respectively and as a result was offered a ride in the Grand Prix world series the next year for the Safilo Oxydo LCR team.

Straight onto a 250cc machine in his rookie year, and at only 16 years of age, Casey demonstrated his ability and speed with results. His best result for the year was a 5th at Brno as well as several 6th place finishes.

In 2003 he went on to ride for Lucio and Safilo Oxydo LCR in the 125cc GP series and took four podium finishes and his first race win, in Valencia, at the end of the season. His first win in a GP race was a huge turning point for Casey and his career.

In 2004, at 18 years of age, Casey moved to KTM for a season where he helped to develop the team’s 125cc bike into a winning machine. That year he made it to the podium six times and took KTM’s first ever win in a GP class.

2005 saw Casey once again come back under the welcoming umbrella of Lucio Cecchinello’s team, this time riding an official 250cc Aprilia. He spent 2005 battling it out with Dani Pedrosa for the championship, visiting the podium ten times in the process and taking wins in Portugal, Shanghai, Qatar, Sepang, and Istanbul.

Finally in 2006, at twenty years of age, Casey accomplished his long held ambition of racing in MotoGP, the fastest and most prestigious of the classes. He set pole position in his second MotoGP race in Qatar and battled for the win until the final corner in the GP of Turkey, finishing runner-up just a fraction behind winner Melandri. Too many errors conditioned the second part of the year, but Casey, in finishing eighth overall in his rookie MotoGP season, demonstrated that he was in amongst the elite group, of which he is the youngest rider.

In 2007 Casey Stoner has joined the Ducati Marlboro Team alongside Loris Capirossi, with whom he has struck up a good friendship. In winter testing he has often been amongst the pacesetters and has proved to have rapidly adapted to the Desmosedici GP7 and Bridgestone tyres. On March 10, 2007, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, Stoner won the first grand prix of the season, the first ever 800cc grand prix, and had his first win in the MotoGP class. After that the young Australian took other nine wins, four further podium finished and scored five pole positions. On September 23rd, in Japan, Stoner secured Ducati’s first MotoGP World Championship becoming the first rider in over 30 years to win the MotoGP title on a European made bike and the second youngest premier-class World Champion, after American legend Freddie Spencer who won his title in 1983, and at the time was 84 days younger than the 21 year old Stoner.

The following year Stoner set out to defend his title and began his quest with a fantastic victory in the first GP to be held at night, in Qatar, but this was followed by a series of highs and lows that saw him lose ground in the classification. Nevertheless Stoner continued to work tirelessly with his team until a breakthrough came during the tests following the Catalunya GP when the Ducati technicians identified a method to maximise the potential of the GP8. Three consecutive victories followed in the UK, The Netherlands and Germany but then, after the hard-fought podium at Laguna Seca, two falls at Brno and Misano, and a physical problem caused by the reopening of an old fracture to his left wrist, the defense of the title seemed impossible. Improvement towards the end of the season with two podiums and another two convincing wins, in Australia and at the final round in Valencia, meant that Stoner closed the season as the vice-champion of 2008 with the highest ever points score. Ducati is the manufacturer to have taken the most victories thus far in the 800cc class, with 17 wins in 36 races. The day after the Valencia GP, and immediately before undergoing surgery for his fractured scaphoid, Casey Stoner participated in the first winter tests alongside his new team-mate Nicky Hayden, beginning preparation for the 2009 World Championship on board the Desmosedici GP9 with new carbon fibre chassis.

In 2009 Stoner is again involved in the fight for the MotoGP title, in a season that is characterized by both successes and difficult moments. The Australian rider, after the success of the opening race and his first podium at Jerez with Ducati, also awards the Italian manufacturer with its first ever win at Mugello. Stoner seems ready to battle it out until the end against Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa, who together are the four riders that demonstrate a superiority over the rest of the pack throughout the 2009 season. Unfortunately for Casey, he is hindered by a physical problem that forces him to sit out three races mid-season, missing the Brno, Indianapolis and Misano GP rounds. It is a very difficult decision for the Australian, which eliminates his chances of winning the title but he is able to return for the Portuguese GP in October, back in shape and ready to demonstrate once more his full potential on board the GP9. Stoner steps onto the podium at Estoril and then wins the next two races in Australian and Malaysia. In Valencia he is extremely fast but then falls in the warm-up lap prior to the race, thus losing third position in the overall standings. Casey concludes 2009 in fourth position but knows he has regained his speed and physical strength. In the post-race testing at Valencia he appears to be very much at ease with the innovations introduced by Filippo Preziosi and Ducati’s technicians for the GP10 bike.

PERSONAL FILE
Age: 24 (Born October 16 1985 in Southport (Queensland), Australia)
Lives: Switzerland
Marital status: married to Adriana
Height: 170cm
Weight: 58kg

Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP10
Racing Number: 27
GP starts: 127 (66xMotoGP, 31×250, 30×125)
GP victories: 27 (20xMotoGP, 5×250, 2×125)
First GP victory: Valencia, 2003 (125)
First GP: Britain, 2001 (125)
Pole positions:21 (17 x MotoGP 2×250, 2×125)
First pole: Italy, 2003 (125)
World Title: 1 – MotoGP 2007

2010: Ducati Marlboro Team rider – MotoGP World Championship
Machine: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP10

2009: 4th MotoGP World Championship (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP9)
2008: 2nd MotoGP World Championship (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP8)
2007: MotoGP World Champion (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP7)
2006: 8th MotoGP World Championship (Honda)
2005: 2nd 250 World Championship (Aprilia)
2004: 5th 125 World Championship (KTM)
2003: 8th 125 World Championship (Aprilia)
2002: 12th 250cc World Championship (Aprilia)
2001: 2nd 125 British Championship (Honda)
2nd 125 Spanish Championship (Honda)
2000: 125 Aprilia Challenge UK Champion (Aprilia)
1989-1999 winner of 41 Australian dirt track and long track titles


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