Mon, Oct 15, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Stoner leads from start to end to win home MotoGP

AFP , PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

Casey Stoner celebrates after winning the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island, Australia, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Australian world champion Casey Stoner led from start to finish to claim his first Australian MotoGP title on the Phillip Island circuit yesterday.

The 21-year-old started from third place on the grid on his Ducati, but a brilliant start saw him overtake Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi by the first corner of the 4.5km track.

After seeing off an early challenge from last year's world champion Nicky Hayden, Stoner edged further away from the chasing pack each lap and cruised to victory 6.763 seconds ahead of teammate Loris Capirossi.

Rossi was third a further 3.5 seconds back, with pole setter Pedrosa fourth, 11.663 seconds behind Stoner.

It was Stoner's ninth victory of the season.

He said winning his home Grand Prix capped off a memorable season.

"To get the championship before this round I think was perfect for me," Stoner said. "I could really enjoy this race."

"The race worked out perfectly for us. We got a great start and I led it from start to finish -- the bike was working beautifully so it was just a matter of bringing it home," he said.

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