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Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 09:00 UK

Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

Steve Parrish
By Steve Parrish
BBC motorbikes commentator

Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner romped to victory at the Australian MotoGP

The result at Phillip Island looks likely to have blown an exciting end to the championship.

I was hoping the title race would go down to the final race in Valencia, but that doesn't look likely now as Valentino Rossi seems home and hosed.

He has a 38-point advantage that looks unassailable unless he suffers some seriously bad luck.

His rival Jorge Lorenzo was just trying too hard on the first corner in Australia and it all went wrong for him.

Rossi, though, played it safe. He has made a number of mistakes this season, hence riding with a donkey painted on his helmet, so he was content to finish second and that was the sensible thing to do.

He is excellent around the Sepang circuit, but with the form Casey Stoner is in I'm sure he will be happy to take it easy and finish in second.

SEPANG MOTOGP
Saturday 24 October
Qualifying: 0550-0900, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 25 October
125cc & 250cc race: 0345-0615, BBC Red Button/online; Race live: 0645-0800, BBC One/online; Race re-run, 1245-1400, BBC Two

No one was going to catch Stoner in Australia, he was sensational.

He has come back from a debilitating illness that ruled him out of the mid-part of the season and he is bang on it.

He is as good as he ever was, but probably with a bit more experience and I wouldn't put it past him to win the next two races as he is absolutely flying.

It is quite peculiar to come back from an illness like that and be so good.

He is an enigma though who is his own man and does his own thing.

What isn't in doubt is that he is absolutely brilliant on a motorcycle. For me he is the fastest guy out there.

I'm not saying he is the fastest man and will win world championships automatically as a result because speed is only one part of it - but on a lap, that man can ride faster than anyone.

Since returning from his illness he is a bit more smiley. He seems happier and is coping with dealing with the press better.

Maybe Ducati took him away and re-chipped him!

He has come back so strong and he is looking like he is enjoying it again, which is just a treat to watch.

The race in Malaysia is arguably the toughest race of the season

Steve Parrish

Rossi needs to be seriously thinking about next season already as a fully-fit Stoner and a revitalised Jorge Lorenzo are going to be gunning for him.

The race in Malaysia is arguably the toughest race of the season as far as endurance is concerned as the heat and humidity makes it so tough.

It's a real test of a human's fitness as it just completely saps you.

Most of the riders aren't particularly fond of the track as they are a bit burnt out from it as they do so much of their winter testing here.

Everyone has done so many laps round this circuit and it's not particularly inspiring as it is a bit of a concrete jungle.

It hasn't got any character to it and it couldn't be further removed from the beauty of Phillip Island.


Sepang prediction:

1) Casey Stoner 2) Valentino Rossi 3) Jorge Lorenzo

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Paul Birch



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see also
Stoner holds off Rossi in MotoGP
18 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner mystery illness diagnosed
15 Jul 09 |  MotoGP
Matt Roberts' MotoGP column
16 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
What new rules mean for MotoGP
12 Apr 09 |  Motorsport
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP standings
31 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Contact the motorbikes TV team
06 Mar 07 |  MotoGP


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