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Stoner set for Grand Prix century

Stoner set for Grand Prix century

2007 World Champion Casey Stoner will become the latest rider to reach the 100 Grands Prix mark at the Alice Grand Prix de France.

Following on from John Hopkins' induction into the MotoGP 100 club in Shanghai, the upcoming race in Le Mans sees reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner reaching the prestigious century of Grand Prix starts.

Whilst Hopkins' appearances have all come in the premier class in its various incarnations of 500, 990 and 800cc cylinder capacities, Stoner´s total reflects his having followed the more tried and tested route of learning his craft in the lower cylinder classes.

Some 40% of the Australian´s Grand Prix starts have, however, come from the blue ribband category of motorcycle racing, and he has only been absent from the grid on one occasion since joining the MotoGP class in 2006; Stoner was forced to withdraw from the German round of his debut season after suffering a concussion in the Sunday warmup. The remainder of the hundred appearances come from his successful spells in 125cc and 250cc competition.

Below is a season-by-season review of the Ducati Marlboro rider´s time in the World Championship, looking at some of the milestone´s achieved along the road to his latest achievement.

Casey Stoner: Highlights from 100 races

2002

Riding in his rookie season in the World Championship, Stoner started out in the 250cc class with the LCR Aprilia outfit. He set a record in Jerez, which still stands today, as the youngest ever top six finisher in the quarter litre category at the age of just 16.

2003

Dropping down to 125cc, the Australian broke another record with seventh place in Germany. Becoming the youngest rider from his homeland to step onto the podium wasn´t quite enough to satisfy the future MotoGP World Champion; he followed this up with a win in Valencia to become the youngest ever Australian racewinner as well.

2004

After a move to KTM, a victory in Sepang at the Malaysian round of the World Championship added further trophies to the Stoner collection, and gave the Austrian factory their first Grand Prix win.

2005

Having moved back up to 250cc, Stoner took the runner-up spot in the series with five victories, the first of which made him the youngest Australian winner in the quarter litre class.

2006

Debuting in MotoGP and barely into his twenties, in only his second race he became the second youngest rider ever to take a premier class pole. This was followed up by a season highlight of second place in Turkey.

2007

Stoner´s title-winning season was also his most prolific for rewriting the history books. The first rider to win a race and the championship under the new 800cc regulations, the man to bring a first ever world title to Ducati and Bridgestone tyres, Stoner also became the youngest ever Australian to win in the premier class and the only Australian rider to win races in each of the three current classes. Ten victories made him a comprehensive World Champion.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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