Casey Stoner scored 10 victories during the 2011 season. He finished on the podium at every race but one. He set a new record for most pole positions in the MotoGP four-stroke era. And gave Honda its first MotoGP championship since the MotoGP started using 800cc engines.
Still, the sweetest part about his 2011 championship was watching Valentino Rossi and Jeremy Burgess struggle.
Rossi was critical of Stoner when the defending champ was riding a Ducati, saying that he would be able to fix the Italian motorcycle's problems. But as 2011 rolled on, and Rossi went his first full season without a win, the Doctor started singing a different tune.
"The whole thing with Valentino saying I hadn't been pushing hard enough was nothing new... This talk followed me and plagued me throughout my time at Ducati until finally Valentino got on the bike and showed that nothing different happened... I knew that when he got on that bike he was not going to be any faster than me. I was 100% sure of that. He complained about his shoulder injury at the start of the season but he got his best result with his shoulder injury.
"As soon as his shoulder injury went he got worse. The excuses didn't stop until the end of this season when they just had to start admitting that they didn't know what direction to go."
Rossi will be giving the Ducati another shot in 2012. Do you think the Doctor will be able to challenge for the MotoGP championship?