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2009 season review: Casey Stoner

2009 season review: Casey Stoner

The Australian’s campaign produced a strong finish but only after a three-race break due to physical problems had interrupted his season.

Casey Stoner’s 2009 campaign got off to the best possible start in Qatar, with victory from pole position in the night race the perfect end to a dominant weekend from the Australian.

Top five results in Japan, Spain (a podium) and France followed before Stoner’s second win of the year was notched in Italy. Finishing ahead of rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Stoner was top of the Championship standings after Mugello and in fine form, having recorded Ducati’s first GP win at the circuit.

Back-to-back podiums at Catalunya and Assen followed that victory, but the physical problems that were to halt his season were by now starting to become evident. Third place in both races was an admirable effort, given the exhausted state Stoner finished each event in.

After successive fourth places at Laguna Seca and Sachsenring, a poor tyre choice from the Ducati Marlboro team led to 14th at Donington, and it was after this weekend that Stoner decided to take a three-race break to fully recover; a controversial decision which effectively ended his chances of fighting for the 2009 title.

The recuperation period provided amazing results for Stoner, as upon his return he finished second in Estoril. Two weeks after, he banished any lingering doubts over his fitness with a win in Australia from pole position, regaining third place in the overall standings from Dani Pedrosa.

Going from strength to strength another victory at Sepang was registered in this rousing finale to the 2007 World Champion’s campaign, his fourth of the year, and going into the last race of the season Stoner was on top form.

All signs pointed to another win at Valencia when he qualified on pole position, but a highside crash on the warm-up lap meant he was unable to compete.

It was a disappointing end to 2009 for Stoner and meant he was unable to hold onto third place in the Championship standings as Pedrosa pushed him down to fourth with a win at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. The manner in which Stoner returned from his three-race time out indicates he will however be challenging for much higher than his 2009 position next year.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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