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Stoner marks return to fitness with a win

Casey Stoner secured his first win since Mugello today as he dominated the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

Having missed out three races this season due to illness the Australian signalled his return to fitness with a stunning win at his home track.

Dani Pedrosa took the lead into the first corner before Stoner passed on the second lap and didn’t look back after that. Despite the determined efforts from second placed Valentino Rossi, Stoner stayed out front finishing 1.935 seconds ahead.

“We struggled all weekend with rear grip” he said. “We were trying to get the bike hooked up a little bit better out of turns, but I think everybody was suffering from similar problems. So we did the best we could for the race, and the bike was working pretty well.”

The 2007 World Champion went on to add, “Physically, I was able to do the same from start to finish, and I was just really happy with the way everything was working. Especially with my body; every lap I kept going past the point where I used to just hit my wall. It made me smile, and I enjoyed each lap after that. It's very nice to be back here, and I thank Marlboro for allowing me to use this livery and to the team and everybody for supporting me. To do three from three is a very nice way to end the year for me.”

Stoner went on to talk about his 2009 season saying “It's not been our year to challenge for the championship and that's a little bit disappointing, but at least we've had a good run and learnt a lot of things. So it's definitely not all bad,”

“To come back in Portugal was a really nice result for us. Jorge (Lorenzo) was too quick on the day but we almost had the pace to win the race, and we're very proud of the team to have come back that quickly. This race, after the warm up in Portugal, was just a run off of that.”