In 1987, it was an Australian – Wayne Gardner – who won the 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world championship. In 1997, it was an Australian – Mick Doohan – who won the 500cc world championship. And in 2007, it’s again an Australian – Casey Stoner – who’s won his first MotoGP world championship! Yes indeed, Stoner, who finished in sixth place at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, at the Motegi circuit, is the new world champion. The best that Valentino Rossi, who finished down in 13th spot, can now hope for is 2nd place in the 2007 MotoGP world championship.
Casey Stoner is the 2007 MotoGP world champ!
Loris Capirossi won his third successive Japanese Grand Prix, Stoner finished ahead of Rossi to take the world championship and Nicky Hayden finally bid goodbye to his crown...
The Japanese MotoGP started with all the riders having opted for wet tyres, and initially, it was Stoner and Melandri at the front, followed by Rossi. Within a few laps, Melandri managed to get past Stoner and soon, Rossi also caught up with the leading duo and took the lead.
However, by the time Rossi got to the front, the track had started to dry up and many riders had already changed bikes, moving to slicks. Of course, Rossi also had to come into the pits and change bikes – moving to one fitted with slicks. And from that moment, his race was finished. The Michelin slicks – especially the front tyre – did not seem to be working at all, and Rossi simply couldn’t keep up with the rest of the pack. He continued to ride though, ultimately finishing in 13th place.
Loris Capirossi – MotoGP winner at Motegi in 2005 and 2006 – turned out to be the man whose timing was best. Having changed bikes at just the right time, Capirossi found himself in the lead and he made the best of it, taking his third successive win at Motegi in the process!
In second place was Kawasaki rider Randy de Puniet (taking his first MotoGP podium finish…), followed by Honda Gresini man Toni Elias in third place. Fourth went to Yamaha Tech 3’s Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri finished in fifth place – talk about the ‘wrong’ Hondas and Yamahas finishing in the top five! Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the race on lap 15, while ex-world champ Nicky Hayden finished down in ninth place.
While the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan wasn’t a very exciting race, it marked the crowning of Casey Stoner’s moment of glory – the young rider from Australia has worked hard, ridden brilliantly, got outstandingly good results consistently and has beaten the best of them. A truly deserving world champion if ever there was one.
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