2011 MotoGP Champ: Casey Stoner Bio
Casey Stoner Biography
During his debut year on the Respol Honda, Casey Stoner continually proved the capability of the RC212V.
With a total of 15 podiums in 16 rounds, including nine wins, the 26-year-old Australian garnered enough points following his win at Phillip Island to clinch the 2011 MotoGP Championship with two rounds remaining.
At his home Phillip Island race, Stoner dominated all three practice sessions and took the pole before leading every lap of the Australian GP and taking the win, making for an almost perfect season so far.
Stoner’s only trouble of the 2011 MotoGP season came when he was involved in the controversial crash with Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi at Round 2 in Jerez; the Rossi/Stoner crash caused a DNF for Stoner.
Following are some Stoner statistics, and a biography of the 2011 MotoGP Champion – Casey Stoner.
Casey Stoner’s numbers (after 16 of 18 rounds in the 2011 MotoGP Championship):
- Victories in 2011:9
- Poles positions in 2011: 11
- Podiums in 2011: 15
- First race: 1989 (Started in dirt track and longtrack).
- First Grand Prix: 2001 British GP (125cc)
- First Pole position: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
- First fastest lap: 2003 Catalunya GP (125cc)
- First podium: 2003 German GP (125cc)
- First victory: 2003 Valencia GP (125cc)
- World Championships: 2 (MotoGP in 2007 and 2011)
- Total Grand Prix: 160 (30 in 125cc, 31 in 250cc and 99 in MotoGP)
- Poles: 37 (2 in 125cc, 2 in 250cc and 33 in MotoGP)
- Podiums: 78 (10 in 125cc, 10 in 250cc and 58 in MotoGP)
- Victories: 39 (2 in 125cc, 5 in 250cc and 32 in MotoGP)
Casey Stoner Biography:
Ever since he was a child, Casey Stoner showed extraordinary passion and talent for motorcycles, even for someone born in a family of real fanatics of this sport. When he was only three years old, he had already changed from pushing his sister’s -Kelly- bike through the garden to get on it by himself.
At the age of four, Casey took part in his first race in the under-9 class at the Hatchers trial circuit, in the Gold Coast region. At six, he won his first Australian title and, after that, followed countless hours of riding and travelling and long nights working on the bikes. From 6 to 14, Stoner competed in races all over Australian territory, accompanied by his father Colin, his mother Bronwyn and his sister Kelly.
During that time, Casey Stoner won 41 championships in dirt and longtrack circuits, and more than 70 national titles, even riding up to 5 bikes in the same day in different classes. When he was 12, he competed in the Australian longtrack championships in New South Wales central coast, in 5 different categories, with seven rounds each class and a total of 35 races in the same weekend. Stoner won 32 of them and, in one occasion, he won the five titles.
Shortly after turning fourteen, the rider and his parents decided to take his sporting career a step forward and they moved to England. Stoner could not participate in speed competitions until he was 16, but he felt ready to face that challenge. This was the reason that decided them to pack their bags and move to a country where the law allowed him to participate in this kind of competition. It was a risky movement, but it was worth it.
Thanks to his talent and also to a bit of good luck, Stoner quickly found a sponsor after taking part in just one race at the United Kingdom. In 2000, the year of his debut in speed motorcycling, he won the English 125cc Aprilia championship. That year he also competed in two rounds of the 125cc Spanish Championship, where he drew the attention of ex-rider Alberto Puig, who was impressed by Stoner’s determination and capability. Puig invited him to the team he was forming to compete the following year in the 125cc Spanish Championship.
In 2001, the Aussie took part in two championships at the same time, the English and the Spanish. Despite missing some races of the English series due to coincidence in the dates, he was able to finish second in both competitions. That same year he was rewarded with the possibility to participate as a wild card in the 125cc World Championship, both in the English and the Australian Grand Prix. He finished eighteenth and twelfth respectively. With those results, he received a formal offer from Lucio Cecchinelo’s team to be his rider in the 2002 World Championship.
He made his debut directly at the 250cc class, and at only 16, the results of the young rider were a good sign of his talent and speed in his first year, in which he took a fifth position in Brno and a sixth in several occasions. In 2003 he competed again for Cechinello’s team, but this time in the 125cc category. He took 4 podiums and won his first race in Valencia, last event of the season.
At 18, he signed an agreement with KTM to help them turn the 125cc team’s bike into a winning machine. With it, he got onto the podium 6 times and achieved the team’s first ever victory in the World Championship. Nevertheless, the following year (2005) Stoner went back to Lucio Cecchinello’s team, this time with an official 250cc Aprilia. During the whole season he had an intense battle for the title with Dani Pedrosa. The Australian finished second with ten podiums, half of them wins (Estoril, Shanghais, Losail, Sepang and Istanbul).
After being runner-up of the 250cc class, in 2006 Casey Stoner made his dream of competing in MotoGP come true. He was in the premiere category and it did not take long for him to show his talent. In Qatar -second round of the championship- he achieved the pole position and in the Turkish Grand Prix he fought for victory up to the last corner, although he finished second behind Italian Marco Melandri. The second half of the championship was flawed due to an excess of ardour that turned into several mistakes. However, his constant efforts allowed the Australian to take the eighth overall position in his first MotoGP season, making it clear that he was part of the motorcycling elite.
In his second season in the premiere class – 2007 -, Stoner signed up for Ducati and, from the winter test he showed that he was among the pace-setting riders. He proved his innate ability to be fast and adapted himself immediately to his new bike and tyres. On March 10 of that year, Stoner won the first Grand Prix of the season at the Losail International Circuit, in Qatar. It was the first event of the category run with 800cc engines.
From that moment on, he was unstoppable and he achieved nine more victories, another four podiums and five pole positions. Those results made it possible for him to win the MotoGP World Championship in Japan on September 23, 2007. He was the second youngest champion of the premiere class, behind the legendary American rider Freddie Spencer, who won the title in 1983 and was in that moment 84 days younger than the then 21-year-old Australian. Furthermore, no rider had won a MotoGP title with a European bike for 30 years.
The next year started with the hope to repeat the title thanks to a fantastic win at the first ever night Grand Prix in Qatar, but the rest of the season was marked by a series of ups and downs that made him lose ground in the overall classification. Despite that, Stoner kept working tirelessly and was even able to take three consecutive wins in England, the Netherlands and Germany, and also a hard-fought podium at Laguna Seca. After those good results, he suffered two crashes in Brno and Misano, where his performance was limited by some pain in his left wrist, that had been fractured before. When he recovered, he was able to finish the season with two podiums and two encouraging victories in Australia and Valencia. This last effort allowed Stoner to take the runner-up position with his best points result in the overall classification and after setting 9 of the 18 pole positions of the year.
In 2009 Casey Stoner found himself fighting again for the MotoGP Championship. He achieved the victory in the first event of the season, again under Qatar’s lights and after that he won again in Mugello, the fifth round. The Australian showed a performance level that put him right up together with Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa, as the leaders of the class. Nevertheless, his performance was interrupted for three races -Brno, Indianapolis and Misano-, due to a physical problem that was finally diagnosed as lactose intolerance.
His return was forceful: he finished second in Estoril and took two consecutive wins in Australia and Malaysia. He fought a hard battle with Dani Pedrosa for the third place of the Championship, but was finally defeated after crashing in the warm-up of the last Grand Prix in Valencia. Stoner finished fourth, although reasserted, as he had recovered his strength and speed.
Nevertheless, some adaptation problems with the last version of the Ducati caused a bad start for Stoner in 2010. The only rider that had been able to tame the wild Italian bike saw that, when the constructor tried to make it gentler, his romance with the bike and the feelings that allowed him to set a very high level of performance in the last three seasons were over. The result was a fifth place as best position in the first three races, after a crash in Qatar, and a retirement in France. The results improved slowly and in the Netherlands he was able to start a streak of five consecutive podiums, but his momentum finished at Indianapolis, where he fell when he was leading the race.
It was not until the twelfth round of the calendar, the Aragon Grand Prix, when he achieved his first victory of the year, a triumph that repeated in the following race in Japan. Nevertheless, the lack of consistency kept being the trend in the last part of the championship: two more crashes, a victory and a podium in the last race that gave him again the fourth position of the Championship in his farewell to Ducati.
Considered one of the most talented riders of the paddock, Stoner made his dream come true by signing an agreement for 2011 with the Repsol Honda Team, imitating his great hero and countryman Mick Doohan. With the Spanish company livery, Stoner recovered this season his most dominant face, which confirmed him as the best rider of the MotoGP 800cc era. He impressed in the preseason and won his first race with the new brand, showing again his great ability to be fast with any bike.
After his victory in the first round in Qatar, bad luck prevented him from finishing his second race in Jerez, where he was hit by another rider. But after finishing third in Portugal in the following round, Casey had a run of three unquestionable wins in France, Catalunya and England, results that allowed him to recover the lead. An unexpected crash in the practice session of the Holland Gran Prix affected his performance in Assen, where he finished second despite his physical problems. In Italy and Germany he achieves two third positions, showing that consistency and efficiency were his best weapons. If he did not win, Casey would not be out of the podium. Despite suffering still of back pain, he took again the highest step of the podium in Laguna Seca, just before the summer break. A new victory before the well deserved summer rest.
After two weeks resting, he was back in full form to the Czech Republic, where he achieved his sixth victory of the season, a success he repeated two weeks later in Indianapolis, reaching his maximum advantage in the overall standings. The third position was repeated a week later in San Marino, with another brilliant win in Aragon, the 100 win for the Repsol Honda Team which, with yet another podium in Japan -third- allowed him to reach Australia with his first mathematical chance to achieve the title.
Without getting out of the podium in all the races he finished this season, half of them in first position, Stoner achieved in Phillip Island, in front of the fans of his country, his second World Championship of the premiere category. After turning 26 today, the Australian has been crowned again as the best rider in the world of the premiere category, a title that will allow him to wear next season the number 1 in his Repsol Honda RC213V.