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October 19, 2009

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Home » Sports » Motorcycling

Stoner storms to Aussie win

AUSTRALIA'S Casey Stoner led from start to finish to win the Australian Grand Prix by 1.9 seconds from MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi yesterday.

Stoner, riding a Ducati, started from pole position and held off Yamaha's Rossi to win his home GP for the third straight year. Spain's Dani Pedrosa was third on a Honda, 22.618 seconds behind world championship leader Rossi.

Stoner, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Friday, was making just his second start after a three-race break from the MotoGP circuit caused by a debilitating illness. He finished second on his comeback at the October 4 Portuguese GP.

He said his decision to take a 10-week break to overcome his mystery ailment was now paying off, with his win yesterday moving him into third place on the world standings. "I think without taking that time off we wouldn't be anywhere near the podium step today, things would have been too difficult for me and physically I wouldn't have been able to last the race," Stoner said.

After capturing his second straight pole position at the 4.45-kilometer Phillip Island circuit, Stoner was able to dominate Rossi to claim his third race of the season.

Rossi's second place allowed him to stretch his lead in the world championship to 38 points over Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo of Spain, who crashed out on turn one.

Two rounds of the world championship remain - in Malaysia and Valencia, Spain - with Rossi on course to claim his seventh world championship.


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