Sunday, October 17

STONER: DEMOLITION MAN

Stoner and Lorenzo share a moment on the podium.
By Michael Esdaile 
Photos: Peter Geran

CASEY Stoner did a total demolition job on the Fiat Yamaha team at Phillip Island on Sunday, October 17. He managed to edge out newly crowned World MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo in the run to Doohan Corner off the start and from there the Marlboro Ducati man was never headed.

In winning his fourth consecutive Australian MotoGP race, Stoner racked up his 30th grand prix win, and his 23rd in the 800cc class, two more than the next most successful man, Valentino Rossi.

And with Fiat Yamaha’s Rossi trailing over the finish line almost 18 seconds behind in third place, Stoner moved back into third in the 2010 World MotoGP Championship points table, edging out Rossi 205 to 197 points.

Stoner admitted he had been feeling a lot of pressure leading into the race, with large sections of the Australian public and press expecting him to win. He also explained that he had used the same chassis geometry that had proved so successful at Aragon and Motegi, with adjustments to the suspension spring rates and damping, as well as the swing-arm pivot height.

Lorenzo said that when he starts he is focused on the first corner, but this time he saw Stoner’s rear wheel in his peripheral vision and was surprised to see the Australian had a brand new, unscrubbed tyre on the Ducati.

Lorenzo said he tried to beat Stoner to the first corner, to prevent the Australian running away with the race, but to no avail. And when he finished the first lap and saw the ‘minus 1.5 second’ message on his pit board, he knew it was going to be a long, tough afternoon.

Lorenzo stuck at his task, pulling away from the battle for third place quite comfortably, but ahead of him Stoner was slowly but steadily getting away.

Hayden leads Rossi
Stoner’s Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden was a bit of a surprise performer, running around the outside of several riders in the Southern Loop to annex third at the end of the first lap.

He then got into a tustle with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda), while a little further back Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) were also in a tustle.

However, Dovizioso pulled out after just two laps and by then Rossi had worked his way up from ninth to sixth. For several laps Simoncelli and Hayden traded places for third spot while Rossi closed in on Spies. For a while the four riders were running nose-to-tail but then Rossi got in front of them and Hayden went with him.

Spies heads Simoncelli and Rossi halfway through the race.
That left Simoncelli and Spies battling corner-to-corner for fifth place, with Spies getting the upper hand and keeping it with four laps to go.

By then Stoner was 6.5 seconds ahead of Lorenzo – and 18.5 seconds clear of the Rossi/Hayden battle over third.

With three laps to go Hayden outbraked Rossi at Honda Corner and was looking for another podium but Rossi had other ideas, returning the favour, with interest on the final lap, carting his soon to be team-mate wide in the middle of the same corner and making good his escape.

Demolition man.
Stoner said once he had pulled the gap over second placed Lorenzo out to four seconds, he selected a less aggressive engine map and short-shifted to reduce engine rpm and save fuel to ensure he made it to the finish.

He also said that saved the rear Bridgestone from being destroyed.

So in the end, he won by more than eight and a half seconds over Lorenzo, and more importantly, beat Rossi by 17.997 seconds.

Hayden was 18.035 seconds behind and fifth placed Spies took the chequered flag 22.1 seconds behind the Australian.

For full results, click on:
http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/xx/2010/AUS/MotoGP/RAC/Classification.pdf?v1_cf9fea97