Casey Stoner’s dominance of his home circuit continued on Sunday as the Australian won at Phillip Island for the third year in a row, leading Valentino Rossi over the finish line by a margin of 1.935s.
In his second Grand Prix back after a three-race absence, the 24 year-old celebrated his birthday weekend with an impressive win from pole position, his third race victory of the season, which took him to third in the championship standings.
A frustrating weekend for Jorge Lorenzo was compounded when the Spaniard crashed out at turn one of the first lap after touching bikes with Stoner’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden. Having struggled through the practice sessions and qualifying with both rear-grip issues and illness, Lorenzo was unable to continue after sliding off, although Hayden climbed back aboard his Desmosedici GP9 to finish 15th.
Rossi’s second place opened his lead at the top of the championship to 38 points over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo with two races remaining, after it had been cut down to 18 following the latter’s win last time out at Estoril.
Dani Pedrosa secured his first podium at the circuit in the MotoGP class but came in 22.618s adrift of Rossi, while Alex de Angelis’ fine weekend was completed with a fourth-placed classification.
Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took fifth spot from fifth on the grid, and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) overcame his worst qualifying position since Germany – tenth – to take sixth place.
Marco Melandri (Hayate), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all also finished inside the top ten.
Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) came in twelfth after being demoted to the back of the grid after his team was penalized for using an extra engine outside its allocation.
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