Casey Stoner has described his 2011 campaign as the “perfect season” after he clinched his second world championship in front of his home crowd at Phillip Island. After Jorge Lorenzo's unfortunate withdrawal, the Australian only needed a top six finish but produced a typically dominant performance to win his ninth GP of the year.
Sunday also saw Stoner celebrate his 26th birthday and the new world champion couldn't believe his luck as the fairy-tale scenario came true.
“I don't think I could fit more things in today! To win like this is really something special; words can't describe it. It's been pretty much a perfect season for us, and a big thank you to the team and to everyone. This weekend's been great for us, but the race threw a few curve balls. They were very, very tricky conditions and there were a few heart-in-mouth moments! I wanted to win this one. Not too many people have so many things align in one day and it's hard to get a hold of it. Maybe it was just meant to be, but it's something unbelievable.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards led the tributes for the new champion as he wrapped things up with two races to spare.
“I just want to say congratulations to Casey because he has been awesome all year and he’s a worthy World Champion. As a fellow rider you have to admire what he’s done.”
Tech 3 team manager and International Road Racing Teams' Association (IRTA) President Herve Poncharal added his congratulations while also praising outgoing champion Jorge Lorenzo for keeping the title race alive all year.
“He is shown this year what a phenomenal talent he is and he deserves to be World Champion. I’d also like to praise Jorge Lorenzo because he has shown that Yamaha is a very competitive package in MotoGP and he has produced some truly incredible performances to push Casey all the way.”
Hiroshi Yamada, manager of tyre supplier Bridgestone's motorsport department, offered his own tribute to the man that gave the Japanese company their first title in 2007.
“Congratulations Casey and Repsol Honda for a very well deserved World Championship! It was always going to be a special moment at his home race but Casey was the first World Championship on Bridgestone tyres and a big force in catapulting us to the front of MotoGP so we are especially happy to see him win in such fashion in front of 43,800 of his home fans. From all at Bridgestone Motorsport, we sincerely applaud the effort he and the team have put in all season and right from the start it was clear they would be a force to be reckoned with this year.”