It seems hard to believe but the Casey Stoner era came to an end last night. In a wet/dry race where he was not prepared to risk injury to his healing ankle, Stoner battled to an excellent 3rd place, although his ride is likely to have been overlooked due to another superstar performance in the Moto2 category of which a little more later. So, let’s review the Stoner era.
Casey started in Grands Prix at the British Grand Prix in 2001 aboard a 125cc bike. His first 250cc start was in China in 2002 and, after racing a fruitless season on a 250, he went back to 125’s for the following season.
He made his MotoGp debut on a Honda at Spa in 2006 and endured a horror season littered with crashes as he tried to make up for the deficiency of running on below-par tyres. At the end of 2007 he announced that he had signed for Ducati and, in the following year, he swept all before him easily winning the world championship, his first of two. His first Pole Position was at Qatar that year along with his first win and his first fastest lap.
Overall his statistics are very impressive. In all classes he stood on the podium 69 times, set 39 poles and 29 fastest laps. In MotoGp alone, he started 115 races and had 38 victories, a 33% success rate. In all classes he finishes his career with 45 victories.
In overall terms he finishes his career in 5th place on the list of all-class victories. In front of him are Agostini (122), Rossi (105), Hailwood (76) and Doohan (54). Notable riders to finish behind him on the all-time list are American heroes, Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz and Eddie Lawson as well as everyone else who has strapped on a helmet in the premier class since 1950.
He leaves the sport well before he should be doing having become completely disenchanted with the direction that DORNA is taking it and becomes one of the few true superstar of the sport who have left it on their own terms at the very top of their game. His 6 straight Australian Grand Prix victories is a record that is unlikely ever to be broken and the Casey-haters will have to find someone else to hate now that he is gone…..
……….and, they just might have found someone already
Last night’s masterclass by Marc Marquez in the final Moto2 race of the year has set tongues wagging. It started from the moment the Spanish whizz kid was demoted to the back of the grid on Friday for a minor indiscretion in FP3. His barnstorming ride on a wet/dry track to come from 33rd place to win, going away, has raised blood pressures all over the racing world. After all, he did it in Motegi but that was a dry track and MM93 is a noted hater of wet races, but, he had his race face on last night and was determined to show everyone just what he could do and what he did was stunning, breathtaking and every other superlative that you could summon. Quite simply, the finest ride that I have ever seen.
But, haters have to hate, as they say, and the internet is awash this morning, mostly with admiration for what this cold-blooded 19 year old achieved last night, but, sadly, with all manner of venom and spite. Some people really need to get a life. I feel privileged that I was able to watch that race.
That is all 🙂
In WSBK the Ducati/Alstare deal was finalised and announced last night. Riders will be Carlos Checa and Anton Badovinni.
Finally, finally, in a fitting end to Casey’s career it has just been announced that he has been inducted as the 20th Grand Prix legend by DORNA