Oct 23, 2012
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Casey Stoner (1).
Dramatic MotoGP season continues in Phillip Island
With five wins in the last six races for Dani Pedrosa and a podium finish for Casey Stoner in Sepang, the Repsol Honda Team head to Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix looking to close these three consecutive fly away races on a high. Dani is fighting stronger than ever to keep the title battle alive and Casey is aiming to take his sixth victory in a row at his home track before leaving the sport after Valencia.
Dani's six wins and fourteen podiums from 16 races place him second in the championship, 23 points off Jorge Lorenzo and with 50 more on offer in the last two races. He returns to Australia, where he celebrated his two 250cc World Championship in 2004 and 2005, with only one thing in mind: to keep this momentum and once again finsh in front of Lorenzo in the penultimate round of the season.
It will also be a very special weekend in Phillip Island for team mate Casey Stoner. Casey set his sights on retuning to action at the Australian Grand Prix after he was injured in Indianapolis in August. He was able to return two rounds earlier in Motegi, claiming fifth position, and jumped onto the podium at Sepang last Sunday, finishing third. However, it's no secret that it would be very special for Casey to win the last race of his MotoGP career in Phillip Island, where he has dominated the past five years.
In addition, the circuit together with the Australian GP promoters will honour their local hero with a fitting tribute. On Thursday morning, turn 3 at Phillip Island will be renamed 'Stoner Corner'. The young Australian rides this corner like no one else, and often refers to it as one of his favourite corners in the World.
A further treat for the home fans will see Repsol Honda hero Mick Doohan performing exhibition laps on Casey's RC213V Honda on Saturday at 09.15 and Sunday at 15.20.
The action will start on track on Friday morning one hour later than usual, with the first free practice scheduled at 11h10 local time, while the race on Sunday will start at 16h00.
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Standing: 2nd with 307 points
"Phillip island is a great track, especially on these machines where you can usually see rear slides. The layout of the track makes racing very nice, so I hope we have good luck and that the bike is working well there also. I have very good memories from my championships back in 2004-2005 and I hope I can have a good race".
CASEY STONER World Championship Standing: 3rd with 213 points
"We've really struggled with the bike set up in the past two races and I'm pretty disappointed with this. We always seem to find our rhythm in Phillip Island but I don't expect it to come easily this year. Thankfully the track goes to the left and we're having a lot less issues with chatter when it goes this way. Also there aren't so many sharp turns so my right leg might be able to deal with it a little better. I'm still nowhere near 100% physically and I still need time to be back to full strength so I'm not really sure what to expect this weekend, we'll do our best and see what happens".