Casey Stoner won the 2011 MotoGP championship title with two races to spare. We look at his route to glory this year, round by round.
Stoner enjoyed a dream ‘debut’ for Honda with victory ahead of reigning 2010 champ Jorge Lorenzo at Losail – once he'd got past his new team-mate Dani Pedrosa…
But it all went wrong for Casey at Jerez as he crashed out of the lead, in what was to be his only DNF of the year, Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa seizing the initiative. Lorenzo celebrated a home win in his usual inimitable way.
Casey was back on the podium in Portugal, but it was Spanish rivals Lorenzo and Pedrosa who fought for bragging rights at Estoril, Dani taking the win this time.
At Le Mans, Casey was top of the pile for the first time since Qatar, with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso second. Third place went to Valentino Rossi (pictured) on the Ducati, the only time the great champion has finished on the podium this year so far.
Spain again, this time Cataluyna, except this time Casey grabbed victory with Lorenzo and his Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies on the podium. Dani Pedrosa, injured in France, had to sit this one and the next two races out.
6. Great Britain
The pendulum really began to swing Casey’s way at soaking wet Silverstone as he won again while Lorenzo had his first DNF of the year. Dovizioso grabbed a well-earned second, with a surprise podium for Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, pictured.
At the Dutch TT at Assen, it was Ben Spies turn to shine with a debut win, while Casey took second and there was yet another podium for Dovi.
Casey felt the heat at Mugello as he had to settle for third behind team-mate Dovizioso, with second in his home race, and Lorenzo, who surged to the win from pole.
Dani Pedrosa out his earlier injury woes behind him, following up his eighth at Mugello with the victory from pole at Sachsenring. Stoner was third, just behind Lorenzo.
The first of two stops in America saw Casey change the order with victory at Laguna Seca. Lorenzo again took second, with Pedrosa in third place.
11. Czech Republic
The tight turns of Brno suited Stoner well as he stormed to victory again from the front, the consistent Dovizioso second and Marcio Simoncelli completing the podium. Lorenzo could only manage fourth.
Back in the US for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Casey made it a hat-trick of consecutive wins from pole, with Pedrosa up in second and home favourite Spies third.
13. San Marino
Jorge Lorenzo fought back at Misano, grabbing pole and victory, while Pedrosa second spot, with Casey hanging on in there for third.
The third of four visits to Spain this season was once again good for Casey, who took victory at Aragón, again from pole position. Dani Pedrosa took his third consecutive second place, while Lorenzo had to settle for third.
An emotional trip to Japan saw the delighted Pedrosa grab pole and win at Motegi. This time Lorenzo took second, leaving Stoner third and the championship race finely poised…
Casey arrived at his home race with a good chance of sealing the title, which he did by winning – with the hapless Lorenzo crashing and unable even to start at Phillip Island and keep alive his hopes of retaining his crown…