Thursday, February 3, 2011

Casey Stoner

Casey Stoner (born 16 October 1985) is a professional motorcycle racer. Born and raised in Southport, Queensland, Stoner raced from a young age and moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a racing career. After first competing internationally in 2002, he won the title of 2007 MotoGP World Champion when he succeeded American Nicky Hayden. He currently competes in the MotoGP class for the Repsol Honda Team. In 2008, Stoner was named Young Australian of the Year. He competed in his first race was when he was four years old, in an under-nine years old race at the Mike Hatcher's dirt racing track on the Gold Coast of Australia. Between his very first race win at the age of nine and the age of fourteen, Stoner won 41 dirt and long track titles and 70 state titles.

One feat he achieved that illustrates his passion and "need" for racing was at age twelve. Over one weekend he raced in 5 different categories in all 7 rounds of each capacity. A weekend consisting of 35 different races... Not only did he compete in all these categories and different engine capacities, the young Casey Stoner went on to win 32 out of the 35 races. There were five Australian titles to be won that weekend, Stoner won all 5. The legal age to enter into road races in Australia is 16. At the age of 14 years, Stoner and his parents agreed he was ready to move up onto road racing so they packed up and moved to England – where the legal age for road racing is 14. From 2000 to 2002, he contested the national 125cc GP championships in Britain and Spain, winning the English 125cc Aprilia Championship in 2000, before moving fulltime to the 250cc GP World Championships in 2002. His season on an Aprilia under the guidance of Lucio Cecchinello was turbulent, with no podium places from 15 race starts.

Video from Casey Stoner

In 2003 Stoner moved to the 125cc GP category. Here, working again with Cecchinello and Aprilia, he met with considerable success, scoring his first GP race win and three second places, finishing 8th overall at the season's end. In 2004 Stoner joined the Red Bull KTM factory team in 125cc class and continued to improve, with another race win, two second places, three thirds, and a final championship position of fifth. In 2005 he rejoined the 250cc world championship class, racing once again for Lucio Cecchinello' team on an Aprilia. Onboard a factory Aprilia, Stoner emerged toward the season's end as a serious threat to championship leader Dani Pedrosa; a threat that only dissipated with a crash at Stoner's home Grand Prix of Phillip Island, allowing Pedrosa to establish an insurmountable points lead. Stoner went on to claim a solid second place in the overall championship standings, with an impressive five race victories for the season.Stoner was in advanced negotiations with Yamaha, but after they dropped him he settled on an alliance once more with team manager Lucio Cecchinello on a Honda RC211V, on a one-bike team new to the series for the 2006 Season, Team LCR. He took pole in just his second race MotoGP, but crashed several times during the season. He finished in 8th position with his best result being a 2nd place at the Turkish GP, where he was leading until overtaken on the final corner by Marco Melandri.

Stoner secured a ride with the factory Ducati team for the 2007 season, joining Loris Capirossi on the new 800cc Ducati Desmosedici GP7. 6 poles and 10 race wins (including three of the first four), took him to his first GP title, by a margin of 125 points (equivalent to five victories) over Dani Pedrosa, which he built during the second half of the season. His worst finish was a 6th place at Motegi, which was all he needed to clinch the title that day.Stoner opened the 2008 season with a victory at Qatar, before a run of two races without a podium. He returned to the podium with a second place at Mugello, before starting a run of seven successive pole positions. He turned three of them into successive victories – a lights-to-flag win at Donington, leading every lap at Assen six days later, and recovering from a huge Friday crash at Sachsenring to win in the wet after Dani Pedrosa crashed, moving to within 20 points of the championship lead. However, successive crashes while fighting for the lead at Laguna Seca (where he remounted to finish second to Valentino Rossi), Brno and Misano ensured that he could not defend the title successfully. Stoner finished the 2008 season as runner-up to Rossi with 280 points, the highest amount of points ever gained without taking the title.

Stoner remained with Ducati for the 2009 season with new team mate Nicky Hayden, with a further option for a 4th season in 2010. A strong start to the season left Stoner in a three way battle with the Fiat Yamaha duo of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, before he was struck by a mystery illness which caused him to feel tired long before the end of races, leaving him 16 points behind Rossi and 7 behind Lorenzo after the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca on July 5. Stoner was subsequently diagnosed with anemia and an inflammation of the stomach lining. Stoner later disputed the diagnosis however and, after continuing to struggle with the condition, he announced on August 10, 2009 that he would miss rounds 11, 12 and 13 in Brno, Indianapolis and Misano respectively in an attempt to recover from the illness. Mika Kallio was chosen as Stoner's replacement for the three races. Stoner returned to racing late in the 2009 season, placing second in the Portuguese Grand Prix and an emphatic first in the Australian Grand Prix, which he led throughout. At interview following the Australian Grand Prix, Stoner said that he experienced none of the premature tiredness that had dogged him earlier in the 2009 season. He followed this up with another first place in the wet at the Malaysian Grand Prix. At the last round of 2009 at Valencia, Stoner dominated all practise and qualifying sessions to take pole, only to crash on cold tyres on the warm-up lap and miss the race. At the test held immediately following the Valencia round, Stoner was once again fastest while testing the new 2010 version of the Desmosedici. However, Rossi was fastest in five of the six pre-season tests. Stoner qualified on pole for the season opener in Qatar, and was leading the race when he crashed out, later acknowledging that this was his own mistake. He also crashed out of round 3 at Le Mans, this time attributing the crash to the front of the bike unloading when not running at maximum pace. His first podium of the year came at Assen, despite struggling with arm pump late in the race. For 2011 Stoner will join Honda Racing Corporation after four years at Ducati Corse, where he will be replaced by Valentino Rossi.

Casey Stoner amazing performance when he won the race

Casey Stoner and his costume

Casey Stoner won the race

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