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Stoner back in title hunt

Stoner back in title hunt

Stoner back in title hunt

Casey Stoner was back on the top step of the podium for the third time this season yesterday at Sepang - repeating his 2004 125cc win at the Malaysian venue - heading an all-Aprilia 1-2-3. The Aussie claimed a dominant win ahead of factory colleagues Alex de Angelis and Sebastian Porto, handing the Noale-based manufacturer its 185th success in Grand Prix racing - the 107th in the quarter litre class.

Having started from fourth on the grid, Stoner seized the lead on the very first lap after title rival Dani Pedrosa grabbed the holeshot. The Carrera LCR – Sunglasses rider then dictated the pace, blazing to the chequered flag unchallenged.

"I could not be any happier today because the race was perfect. For the whole week the team have done a great job," commented Stoner. "We made a few errors in practice but we quickly realized what they were and this enabled us to have a really good setting for the race."

"I made without a doubt my best start of the year and gained the lead early and I pushed very hard for the first five laps to break the other riders. Then I eased off and followed my pit board. I really want to thank my team, especially my Chief Mechanic Pietro. Now we want to continue this form and keep putting the pressure on Pedrosa."

Thanks to this performance and Pedrosa's crash in the early stages of the race, Stoner cut the Spaniard's Championship lead to 38 points with four rounds still to go and 100 points up for grabs. It was also a special day for Dunlop who celebrated their 150th consecutive victory in 250 class.

Tags:
250cc, 2005, MARLBORO MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner

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