2011 Phillip Island MotoGP Race Result: Comfortable Victory Despite Weather Shaking Up Field

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Phillip Island:

Casey Stoner has taken victory in the MotoGP race at Phillip Island, leading from flag to flag despite rain moving in to disrupt the race at the very end. With the 25 points from the win - at his home round, on his birthday - Stoner has also secured the 2011 World Championship, facilitated by the fact that Jorge Lorenzo was forced to withdraw from the race after losing part of his ring finger on his left hand. In doing so, he also became just the fifth rider to win a MotoGP title on two different brands of machine, joining Valentino Rossi, Eddie Lawson, Giacomo Agostini and Geoff Duke in a very exclusive club, and matching Rossi's record of five consecutive wins at Phillip Island.

As expected, the race was more or less over by the time Stoner crested Lukey Heights for the first time. Stoner got his customary good start, got into Doohan Corner first and immediately started to gap the field. His advantage was nearly a second at the end of the first lap, and quickly grew to over 7 seconds, Stoner managing the lead with ease.

Behind the vanishing Australian, things were much closer. A rocket-propelled start by Nicky Hayden put the Marlboro Ducati rider into 2nd, with San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli hunting him down. Behind Simoncelli, the two remaining Repsol Hondas sandwiched Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso ahead of the Rizla Suzuki, Dani Pedrosa behind. Simoncelli lost little time getting past Hayden, and was soon joined by the other two factory Hondas, Pedrosa having taken his time getting past first Bautista and then Hayden. But though Dovizioso and Pedrosa could get onto Simoncelli's tail, neither man could pass, Dovizioso the first to try, then Pedrosa trying a few laps later after getting by Dovizioso at the Honda hairpin.

But as Pedrosa closed on Simoncelli, the weather started moving in, the wind off the Bass Straight picking up, the sky darkening and the first few spots of rain starting to fall. Stoner was the first rider to respond, suddenly dropping a couple of seconds to Simoncelli in the space of just a couple of laps. Pedrosa also backed off a fraction, losing touch with Simoncelli and finding himself with Dovizioso to deal with. His defense did not last long, the Italian getting by the Spaniard at Honda Hairpin on lap 21.

Three laps later, the heavens opened for a brief moment, raining heavily before the shower was blown away by the wind. Stoner found himself confronted with the disadvantage of a big lead, having a major moment coming through the final corner and coming close to losing control. While Stoner backed off again - his lap time dropping from a 1'34 on lap 24 to a 1'51 the next lap - Dovizioso seized the advantage and closed on Simoncelli, cutting inside his arch rival on the final corner. The rain shower passed, and Stoner went on to win the race with a comfortable buffer, despite the two Hondas closing in fast on the final couple of laps. The battle for 2nd went down all the way to the last lap, Simoncelli barging his way past Dovizioso at the Honda hairpin, while Dovizioso could not find a spot to respond, forced to settle for 3rd behind the San Carlo Gresini man.

Behind the podium, the race had been extremely eventful. Not so much for Dani Pedrosa, who crossed the line in 4th with a massive gap ahead and a massive gap behind, but from 5th place onwards, the field was shaken up by the rain. Alvaro Bautista had looked on for at least a 5th place, but got caught out by the rain and crashed out, the second race in a row he has crashed out of a good position. Nicky Hayden had been sitting in 6th behind Bautista, but came in for bike change once the downpour begun, his slick tires already shot from pushing in the early laps.

Eventually, 5th place went to a solid performance from Colin Edwards, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider keeping his head cool and staying on the bike. Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet finished in 6th, despite a minor off-track excursion in the last few laps, while Hayden still came home in 7th despite swapping bikes because of the rain. The American was the last rider on the same lap as the winner, Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi - the latter having also swapped bikes - finishing a lap behind the winner Stoner. Karel Abraham come home 2 laps down in 10th, remounting after having crashed out earlier.

The list of crashers was relatively long. In addition to Alvaro Bautista, both Hiroshi Aoyama and Cal Crutchlow also went down, crashing in sync as the pair battled over 8th. Valentino Rossi had gone down a lot earlier, in a crash that was illustrative of his year on the Ducati, diving past Bautista into MG, a classic Rossi move from the past, only to wash out the front on the brakes as he tried to get the bike turned. Some Australian marshals made a half-hearted attempt to get the bike going again, before giving up and parking the bike against a barrier.

The two notable absentees were the Factory Yamaha riders, Ben Spies still a little woozy from his crash on Saturday, while Jorge Lorenzo lost the top segment of his ring finger in a crash during the morning warmup, leaving him unable to race.

Stoner's victory seals the 2011 championship for the Australian, the Repsol Honda rider happy to take it in style. Lorenzo's title defense would not have lasted too much longer, but it ended finally in the gravel trap at Phillip Island. It had been valiant but fruitless, Stoner in unstoppable form aboard an RC212V that Honda had taken all four years of the 800cc era to get right. 

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 27 Casey STONER HONDA 42'02.425  
2 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 42'04.635 2.210
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 42'04.879 2.454
4 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 42'15.585 13.160
5 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 42'33.311 30.886
6 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 42'51.225 48.800
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 43'18.739 1'16.314
8 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 42'05.177 1 lap
9 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 42'09.187 1 lap
10 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 42'45.142 2 laps
Not Classified
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 35'43.039 4 laps
  7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 35'58.374 4 laps
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 35'58.593 4 laps
  46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 20'09.118 14 laps

 

2011
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Total votes: 85

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Comments

ALTHOUGH THIS YEAR IT SEEMS LUCK GOT UP WITH EVERYBODY ELSE.

Total votes: 119

Congtatulations Casey! Wonderful win and as you said - it doesn't get any better :)

On a negative note - f%$@ you OneHD/Network10 for cutting the telecast before the rider interviews to switch to Korea F1 - we already know who won that title you weigh anchors. You are an Australian media company, WTF is wrong with you. From today onwards I and most race fans I know will be watching every race online - be sure to let your paying advertisers know.

Total votes: 111

Thank god for online GP coverage. I live in the US,in the country where my closest neighbor is 1 mile away.And I dont have access to cable TV and refuse to pay for Satelite, If you dont stream from Motogp.com. your wastin your money.

Congrats Casey!! Last time a World Championship brought tears to my eyes was 06. Also Congrats on next yrs championship. The only thing Honda has been missing is a rider. Marquez will be the ONLY thorn in Stoners side for years to come.

(Superbikeplanet.com interview)
2010 Halloween:
Q:Ben Spies what scares you the most?
A: Casey Stoner on a Honda!

Total votes: 114

When he's riding with confidence... Stoner is unstoppable as long as the bike doesn't fail him! He flies... especially at PI! The next 'Doohan Era' may very well be starting today right before our eyes! Ducati, Rossi, Dani, and even Jorge must be feeling quite useless knowing they could do nothing to slow/stop Casey's dominance this year! Now that the title is won... I can't wait to see Stoner in the last 2 races and post-season testing on the 1000cc! Stoner and a 1000cc RCV should be remarkable. Here comes the drifting and rear-wheel burning slides! AWESOME.

Total votes: 112

Long live the King!
A job well done and after three seasons putting the challenge to the other aliens on on that dog (albeit a fast dog!) of a Ducati his results this year speak volumes for his talent and ability.
He's going to be a hard man to beat for a few years yet.

Stoner through turn 3 compared to all other riders (including three on the same bike) is like chalk and cheese. He is the new King of MotoGP.

My thoughts go out to Lorenzo who has been a fine champion and his good grace and sportsmanship has been a welcomed sight. He's done himself proud this year and I wish him a speedy recovery. A fighter indeed.

Total votes: 116

Well done Casey and the Stoner's,HRC,Suppo,Gabarini and team. 'We' makes much sense. Fantastic team effort all year long. Richly deserved. George,the Spartan,what an amazing effort trying to defend that #1 plate. All the best to him,Ben and Yamaha aswell. What the hell ! Thats racing. I'm sure Mick enjoyed it as much as I did. Old Capirex...well done. Kept his head while many around him lost their's.

Total votes: 112

Great win from Casey and congrats on a well earned title. Casey, the team and Honda have been the best package this year and throughly deserve the plaudits.. Well done..

Total votes: 114

At the track, watching Stoner through turn 3 (really fast, the one where Spies crashed in Qual) is phenomenal. He is visibly quicker. The level of commitment required through there is amazing. Well deserved title.

Total votes: 117

I agree with the commentators...PI T3, should be named the "Stoner Sweep"....

Total votes: 116

"Stoner in unstoppable form aboard an RC212V that Honda had taken all four years of the 800cc era to get right." What Honda finally got "right" was hiring Casey Stoner. Now comes the part where Honda starts its advertising campaign, declaring themselves the new world champion in large print while mentioning their rider in small print, as they did in Cycle News right after Nicky won his championship. In contrast, in the same issue of C N, Yamaha ran a full page advert with a blue backround that simply said "Congratulations Nicky". Now that's class. Hopefully Honda has learned their lesson. We'll see. Congratulations to Casey. He certainly deserved this title, especially after all the hard work he did at Ducati. Congratulations to Jorge for his valiant effort. He rode like the champion he is. Let's hope his recovery is quick and complete, along with that of Ben.

Total votes: 114

Ok not sure about that all times, but somewhere close enough he is.
This year Casey proved that he is not just fast but also mentally very strong. He had to beat the mighty Jorge for this championship. That along worth a lot and makes the 2011 championship unique.

Total votes: 98

Looked strange to me. Normally you see the bars come around in the rider's hands, and he tries to save it while pushing a big slip angle on the front tyre (enormous number of photos of Rossi doing this on the Yamaha), then he either saves it or falls.

In this case, the front looked as if it went from full traction to zero, like a wet-weather crash.

Anyway, good that Bautista didn't get taken down in the mess... and shame that he binned it when the rain came.

And of course congratulations to Casey. From the moment he had it hooked up and wheelying out of T2 on the first lap, it was clear he was in a class of his own. Let's hope it's the second of many :)

Total votes: 105

it just washed completely away. I have to wonder if the cold and damp were really starting in that corner. Does it always drizzle on that track?

Total votes: 97

I've ended a day at PI in a state of dehydration due to 40°C temps. I've also huddled in a garage listening to hail bang against the shutter, and set a 2'30" qualifying time because I couldn't see more than 20m ahead through the pouring rain (I didn't know the guy who passed me out of Siberia crashed at Hayshed... couldn't see him).

It's changeable. ROFL

Total votes: 96

Rather than finish way down the order, is it possible Vale just dumped it early on purpose, rather than putting more laps on his engine?

Total votes: 105

its unlikely, the usual method for doing that is to pull into the pits, wave and point at the bike infront of the mechanics then walk off shaking your head, then say it had an electrical glitch.
I think rossi just genuinely overcooked it. he probably didnt expect to be challenging bautista and got excited

Total votes: 101

"Rather than finish way down the order, is it possible Vale just dumped it early on purpose, rather than putting more laps on his engine?"

Yes! And I'm sure it happens all the time. As a matter of fact Lorenzo probably purposely crashed in warm-up to avoid losing his title on the track. And, remember how the other riders all LET Nicky win Laguna Seca those two times so he would look good for Americans?

Total votes: 94

Casey Stoner is indisputably the best rider of the 800cc era. What he achieved on the difficult Ducati and now the Honda, is remarkable. It is hard to see anyone getting near him next year unless Yamaha produces a real rocket ship.

Stoner at Honda has shown just how much difference a rider can make.

Special mention to Jorge Lorenzo, who has shown real class this year, both on and off the track. He was a bit of a brat when he was younger, but as 2010 world champion he has really matured.

Total votes: 113

Jorge previously was trying way too hard to copy and possibly outdo Rossi at his own game (showmanship, being the fast yet fun easy going guy etc). I think that beating Rossi fair and square a few times, along with garnering the title has allowed him to settle down and become himself, which appears to be an incredibly smooth, consistent, tough tiger of a rider with a big heart too.

I'm digging the show of respect between Casey, Jorge, Dani, Ben and maybe one or two others. It's a welcome change from the cold-war-esque Rossi/Stoner Rossi/Lorenzo Rossi/Gibernau Rossi/Biaggi thing (don't flame, I'm a Rossi fan too). It bodes well for the future of the sport.

Total votes: 122

I always just figured that Jorge was playing mind games with Valentino. The different coloured left to right side of his leathers, the special helmet designs, the post race celebrations, all designed to piss Rossi off like when someone constantly repeats every word you say. Now that Rossi has left Yamaha and been uncompetitive, Lorenzo's antics have stopped. That's how I saw it anyway.

Despite not being the way everyone wanted Stoner to be able to win the title with Lorenzo unable to fight it out to the end, it was still a better conclusion I think for Casey to take it at his home race and celebrate it in front of his home fans. Congratulations to Casey and his crew on a dominant year, they've been a cut above and there's lots of work to do to catch them next year.

Total votes: 116

Rossi said the data shows when he crashed he didn't do anything different than earlier laps. But he was diving under Bautista, right? I find it hard to believe you can do that without pushing/braking just a little bit harder.

Total votes: 104

Rossi has rarely admitted to making mistakes. This year he is being paid so much he is even more defensive about mistakes. If he did the same thing the result would have been the same not a crash. Don't think anyone is really fooled by this comment of his. However he is at least pushing hard to get a result improvement. I really don't think he is looking forward to next year. If its a rehash of this year his rep is hurt bad. Can't take away all the past success for sure but it sure dents the GOAT and bike developer tag. His body language says it all recently. Problem is not his talent. That is established. Problem is the ego driven stuff. When you are on top it is interesting eccentricity. When you slip down the ladder it is clownish and there are lots of people he has offended in the past ready to point out every little crack in the edifice. Big warning for champs. Show a little grace and humility. It's money in the bank for the hard times.

Total votes: 105