MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
There’s barely going to be standing room on Phillip Island this weekend.
Advance ticket sales suggest that the crowd will be at least double last year’s and possibly even bigger than the event record, achieved at the very first Australian GP in 1989 when the nation was in the grip of Wayne Gardner fever.
Aussie fans will be turning out in force to say goodbye to Casey Stoner, their first premier-class champ to whom they’ve had the chance to say a proper farewell. Both Gardner and Mick Doohan made hurried exits from bike racing, due to injury. Gardner announced his retirement a few months after missing the 1992 Australian GP due to a broken leg suffered at Suzuka. Doohan announced his retirement not long after missing Phillip Island in 1999 due to injuries sustained at Jerez.
Gardner famously won the first two Australian GPs, in 1990 beating the up-and-coming Doohan who later accused his compatriot of running him off the track at 190mph, an accusation Gardner vehemently denies. The pair never got on because they are such different characters. Gardner channelled all of his emotion into racing, while Doohan channelled all his emotion out of racing. Gardner wanted to win at home more than anything in the world, Doohan insisted his home GP was just another race.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.