Birth date 16 Oct 1985 (34 years)
Nationality Australia Australia

Another Aussie on the list of MotoGP riders, Casey Stoner is anything but like everybody else. The defending champion in the 2008 season, Casey Stoner is a part of the Ducati Marlboro team and will be putting out another strong performance in the new season.

Casey began competition racing at the age of four and was nine before he won his first race. He had a sister who was involved in racing as well and that is where Casey would get his inspiration, by watching her. He had already won 41 dirt and long track titles & 70 state titles. He had this ‘need’ to race and his hunger was visible at the age of 12. On one particular weekend, Stoner took part in 7 races for five different categories, each. So, his weekend consisted of 35 races out of which he won 32. This was an indication of his addiction to the sport that saw him win all five titles up for grabs on that one weekend.

Since the legal age for road racing was 16, in Australia, the family moved to England so that Casey could move up to road racing at 14. From 2000 to 2002, he took part in the national 125cc GP championships in Britain and in Spain. In 2000, he won the British 125cc Aprilia Championships.

He moved to the 250cc category in 2002 but the move didn’t go down well as a trouble ridden season saw Casey finish with no podium places from 15 races. So he came back to 125cc and with Aprilia, he met considerable success. He won his first international GP race and got three second place finishes to end the season at 8th place overall.

In 2004, he moved to the Red Bull KTM factory team, again in the 125cc class, and continued to make inroads into the series. He won another race, got 5 other podium finishes on his way to fifth in the overall championships.

In 2005, he went back in to the 250cc championships’ class, going back to Lucio Cecchinello’s Aprilia. Stoner went onto a solid second place finish on his factory Aprilia. He was a threat to the championship throughout the season but only a crash at the Philip Island round ensured that Dani Pedrosa ran away with the title. Stoner did win 5 impressive races on his way to the second place.

Although things seemed to shape out such that Stoner would ride with Yamaha in his maiden MotoGP year, it was not to be. He turned out with Lucio Cecchinello once again on a Honda RC211V. The team had just one bike for the entire 2006 season. Casey finished the season in 8th place, with a best result of a second place finish at Turkey, a race he should have won until Marco Melandri overtook him on the last corner of the final lap.

For 2007, Stoner moved to Ducati and the move paid off heavily. Alongside team mate Loris Capirossi, on a new 800cc Ducati Desmocedici GP7, Stoner took 6 pole positions and 10 race wins on the way to his first MotoGP title. This led to a contract extension with Ducati that will see him there till the end of 2009. But before that, in 2008, more pressing issues like the defense of his title against the likes of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are at hand and Stoner would be eager to continue his good form into the new season.

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