PH2: MotoGP Australia

Monday 29th October 2012

Stoner goes out in style with a Phillip Island masterclass in MotoGP

If practice was anything to go by there was little point anyone else turning up at Phillip Island. Injured or not, Stoner rules the island and after giving a riding masterclass during qualifying and practice, Stoner looked destined to bow out of MotoGP with a home win. The fans wanted it, most of the paddock echoed this, and in truth the only chap not wishing Stoner well was Dani Pedrosa who was still desperately needing points to challenge Lorenzo for the title.

The view most had of a dominant Stoner
The view most had of a dominant Stoner
Speaking of the title, with Lorenzo 23 points ahead of Pedrosa the non-miserable Spaniard only needed to finish in front of the slightly smaller and less grumpy one to wrap up the title. Off the line it looked like Jorge meant business but then Dani showed some often missing aggression to barge past and take the lead with Stoner behind. Then it all went horribly wrong for Dani as he fell off - handling the championship to Lorenzo.

Dani on the floor, title chances over and the leash was off Stoner - not that it was really on him anyway. The predictable win came with a nine-second advantage over Lorenzo - Stoner's sixth Phillip Island win and if you watched the slow-motion shots during practice you couldn't help but marvel at the Aussie's talent and machine control. Like him or loath him, the guy is spectacular on a bike and will be missed in MotoGP next year.

Lorenzo crosses the line in style
Lorenzo crosses the line in style
With Stoner in the lead, Lorenzo second and Cal Crutchlow third it was up to Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso to provide some mid-race entertainment for the crowds, which they did with some strong overtakes. In truth these three provided the only racing in the MotoGP procession, so hats off to them for that. Dovi won the fight with a ballsy overtake going into the first corner.

Another well deserved podium for Cal, a swansong win for Stoner and a second championship for Lorenzo - you can't argue with that as a result. Unless you are Dani Pedrosa...

Meanwhile in Moto2...
Moto2 and Dani's 2013 team mate only needed two points to be crowned champion - but would the Spaniard back off? Would he hell! Marquez took the lead on lap two but was then demoted by championship rival Pol Espargaro. You can't accuse Marquez of trying to stay out of trouble, but third place with Pol over 10 seconds ahead in first place probably wasn't his best ever rider. Never mind, a deserved championship won.

Further celebrations for Lorenzo in the pits
Further celebrations for Lorenzo in the pits
Second place went to the superb Anthony West with Scott Redding in fourth having been second for most of the race.

Moto3 mayhem
Moto3 and the return of Isaac Vinales added a bit of spice to an already decided championship. Khairuddin has been knocking on the door of a race win this season and after taking the lead things were looking good for the Malaysian rider in the opening few laps. He was probably still pissed off about last week'sresult...

A few jump starts (and a bit of a wild overtake) soon split up the leading pack with Khairuddin slipping back and Sandro Cortese taking up the challenge with Miquel Oliveira on his heels and Vinales in the gravel! Cortese took the win from Oliveira with third place going to local boy Arthur Sissis after a fierce six-bike scrap which included Danny Kent who finished a close fifth.

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