A memorable weekend in the history of the Nolan Group over the last two days both at Phillip Island, during the Australian MotoGP and in Portimao with Portugal’s Superbike GP.
In Phillip Island, our Casey Stoner (Nolan X-802) won without any challengers (Lorenzo, X-Lite X -802, did not take part in the race due to the aftermath of his fall which happened during Warm up) the GP at his home circuit, on the day of his birthday, taking the MotoGP World Championship two races before the official end of the season. He gave us the second crown of the year after the recent victory of Carlos Checa in SuperBike.
Sadness for Jorge Lorenzo, who was the only one, until yesterday, who could have kept the championship open and the only one who could challenge Casey for the title. Our best wishes to Jorge for a quick recovery as soon as possible in order to defend his 2nd position in the Championship. Big thanks to Casey for flying our flag, to every member of our technical team and to the expertise of people within our Group who work behind the scenes with pride and passion to make this all possible.
And the weekend didn’t end there. World Superbike gave us two fabulous results in the last race of the season.
Carlos Checa, already World Champion, wearing the celebratory model of his fantastic X-lite X-802, was not happy to settle for just a place and put in a splendid performance to win race 1, his 15th victory of the season.
Marco Melandri (Nolan X-802) confirmed his second position in the Championship, winning race 2. Huge thanks to both of them and a special goodbye until next year.
CASEY STONER, 2011 MotoGP World Champion
“I don't think anyone could plan things to happen better than they have today! The race was incredibly difficult, the conditions were very tough. I built up an early lead as I saw the rain coming in, but I wasn't sure if it would hit us. I basically ran into a wall of rain. There wasn't any warning at the back part of the circuit and I came into the last turn and the rain started hard. I nearly lost control and thought for sure I was going to end up in the gravel. I managed to control it and maintain the gap to everyone and thankfully bring it home for the win, but it was a little bit nerve-wracking for sure. I'm really sorry that Jorge (Lorenzo) had the accident this morning. He's a great competitor and I think if he'd been here racing today things might not have turned out the way they have. I hope his operation goes well and he's back racing as soon as he feels fit. I can't thank everyone enough, my team, Repsol, all our sponsors, everyone that has worked so hard all year, thank you.”
Carlos Checa, 2011 World Superbike Champion
“Race 1 wasn’t at all easy because at the start I was having trouble with the tyre but we knew that it would perform better in the final stages and our decision turned out to be the right one. I was able to reach first Marco and Johnny and then Sylvain to win the race with a small advantage. This victory is for the team that has truly deserved it this weekend – I dedicate this win to all of them. In race 2 I was pushing hard but we’d changed tyre and with the softer solution I couldn’t do more than I did. This weekend has been very special; before Race 1 it looked like there was no way that I could stay with Althea Racing in 2012 and I was very upset about this but now it seems that Althea Racing and Ducati have come to an agreement and I am over the moon to hear that I can stay with my team and with my bike again next year. We have built something very special here and to leave would have been heartbreaking. More than a win, today has been a moral victory – in the space of two days I have lost, and thankfully regained my team.”
Marco Melandri – second classified SBK World Championship
"It was a fantastic race win and end to the championship. The bike was working well and I really wanted one more win before finishing up the season. I would have liked a double but race one didn't go so well. I got a good start and was planning on waiting a few laps before pushing harder and fighting for a win but unfortunately the rear tyre was gone by mid race I had very little grip and just couldn't keep pushing. The team has worked really hard all year and I'd like to thank them and everyone at Yamaha for the amazing season together and for all their help and support in the tough time since YME decided to withdraw at the end of this year."