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Stoner raring to go at home return

Stoner raring to go at home return

Casey Stoner is looking forward to this weekend´s Australian Grand Prix –and not just because it is his home race.

Despite having conceded the MotoGP World Championship to Valentino Rossi at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, Casey Stoner can still expect plenty of home support when he heads to Phillip Island. The Ducati rider still has plenty to ride for at the Australian Grand Prix, with the runner-up spot in the series still up for grabs and the chance to repeat his memorable 2007 triumph Down Under.

For the home rider, the title-relinquishing race in Motegi did not come as too much of a disappointment, marking his return to the podium after three races away. Stoner shared the rostrum with both World Championship successor Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, his rival for the second place spot in the 2008 series.

`The three races before Japan were really difficult for us, with two crashes and a fourth place, so even though I couldn´t win at Motegi second place wasn´t a bad result and it means I can look ahead to Phillip Island in a positive manner,´ says the Australian, who is also in contention for the BMW M Award for qualifying results over the course of the season. Normally brutally honest in his assessment of circuits on the calendar, and unafraid to criticise surfaces and layouts not to his liking, Stoner doesn´t have a bad word to say about the scene of this weekend´s race.

`I can´t wait to race there - not only because it´s my home race but also because it is one of the best tracks in the world, with so many fast corners and fun sections to ride a MotoGP bike. I love it and I think the other riders would agree with me on that. Hopefully the weather holds out but even if it rains Phillip Island is always great fun.´

Ducati took a memorable one-two at last year´s Australian Grand Prix, with Stoner romping home ahead of then-teammate Loris Capirossi on his first race after clinching the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.

MotoGP, 2008, AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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