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Guenter Reinhold

Stoner’s route to MotoGP glory

Clinches title in Japan
Sunday, September 23, 2007

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Casey Stoner is deservedly the newly crowned 2007 MotoGP World Champion, following the events of the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, where he clinched the title with three races of the season remaining.

At the age of 21 years and 342 days the Ducati Marlboro man has become the second youngest rider in the 59 year history of Grand Prix racing to win the premier class title - the youngest being American Freddie Spencer who won in 1983 when he was 21 years and 258 days old.

Having started as a dirt tracker in his native Australia, Stoner headed to Europe as a teenager to ride in the 125cc British Championship with his parents uprooting from ‘Down Under’ so that their talented son could chase his dream.

After his subsequent move into the 250cc World Championship in 2002, followed by two years in the 125cc category and another quarter liter class campaign, Stoner became a MotoGP rider in 2006 with LCR Honda.

At the beginning of this season he earned a dream move to an improving Ducati Marlboro set-up and although his signing was viewed as something of a gamble by many observers it is an understatement to say that the Aussie star has exceeded all expectations in his first year with the Italian factory.

The combination of Stoner’s tremendous riding ability, the unveiling of the awesome new Desmosedici GP7 800cc prototype and the consistently high performance of Bridgestone tires have resulted in a sensational title victory in his debut Ducati season.

Wins in varying conditions in Qatar, Turkey, China, Catalunya, Great Britain, the USA, Czech Republic and Italy (San Marino), podiums in France, the Netherlands and Portugal and additional points picked up elsewhere – including today at Motegi – have seen Stoner realize his dream and reward his family for all the sacrifices they have made.

He will ride at the next round at Phillip Island in front of a jubilant home crowd as the new king of the premier class, though for now it is taking time for the triumph to sink in with the new champion. From the paddock in Japan he commented: “It’s a little bit overwhelming I suppose because we didn’t really expect to get it at this race. We thought at the beginning of the race that everything was going well and then Valentino had a problem so it’s come on quite quickly. I didn’t really expect to be World Champion today.”

“There’s a lot of people I have to thank. My parents have always been there for me supporting me throughout my whole career. My wife has been there through this whole season and the past few. Everyone that has helped me along the way, my whole team, Bridgestone tires. I want to say a big thank you to anyone who has had anything to do with my career and you know, we finally did it!”

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