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Stoner compares well with past Australian champions

Stoner compares well with past Australian champions

With his victory in Turkey, Casey Stoner moved back to the top of the World Championship classification and is increasingly looking like a genuine candidate for a title challenge.

With his victory in Turkey, Casey Stoner moved back to the top of the World Championship classification and is increasingly looking like a genuine candidate for a title challenge.

Indeed his performance after having started in 19 MotoGP races compares well against the early records of the two previous Australian premier-class World Champions, Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner.

Both of these former champions went straight to racing in the premier-class of GP racing without graduating through the smaller classes, whilst Stoner of course graduated through the 125cc and 250cc categories.

However both Doohan and Gardner had a considerable amount of experience racing Superbikes and in the case of Gardner the 500cc two-stroke in British National Championship. In addition, both were a few years older than Stone, when making their premier-class debuts, at the age of 23. Ducati Marlboro rider Stoner is still just 21 years-old.

Comparing the performances of these past champions in their first 19 races against what Stoner has achieved in his first 19 outings, Gardner won on his 20th start and Doohan won on his 26th start, while Stoner already has two wins to his name.

In terms of the total points scored in the 19 races (with points adjusted to current system), Stoner has scored exactly the same number of points as Gardner (180), with Doohan scoring slightly less (164).

However, Stoner has been less consistent, crashing six times and securing only three podium finishes while Gardner finished on the podium six times and Doohan four, in the equivalent periods of their careers.

The indication is that this early in his MotoGP career Stoner is a match for these two former champions, but the final measure will be finding the consistency to build on his success so far and win the world title.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Casey Stoner

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