Casey Stoner has always had his critics, people who said he isn't smart enough or physically strong enough to keep control of a MotoGP bike for a whole race. But the feisty Aussie, who spent 2006 mostly stumbling out of gravel traps, proved his doubters wrong, resisting massive pressure from seven times world champion Valentino Rossi, and winning the 2007 MotoGP before the last race was even started.
Valentino Rossi was stunned by his last year's defeat, stunned by Casey Stoner's millimeter-perfect riding and stunned by the Ducati's jaw-dropping speed and performance.
Even if he is favorite to win back his MotoGP crown this year, Valentino Rossi now knows it's going to be no walkover, and let's not forget there's also Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo, and the small matter of Spanish Honda flier Dani Pedrosa.
Valentino Rossi complained last year that the Yamaha M1 was missing some horsepower, and the Michelin tires where no match for Casey Stoners Goodyear tires. For the 2008 season on Goodyear tires and totally reworked Yamaha 800cc machine Valentino Rossi was not on the podium. Casey Stoner shined again followed by Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa was third.
Ducati is as delighted with their new star as they are with their awesomely powerful Desmosedici V-four. Casey Stoner, 21-years old, is now one of history's youngest MotoGP winners, and he says he only just getting up to speed. We have to wait what Spain brings us, Jezer is fast and both Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner know it well.