Cal Crutchlow gave himself an early 27th birthday present in Phillip Island this afternoon to claim his second premier class podium in an Australian Grand Prix that saw Jorge Lorenzo clinch a second MotoGP world title.
Crutchlow celebrates his 27th birthday tomorrow (Monday) and he won’t be the only one partying in Australia after factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo finished second to take the inaugural 1000cc MotoGP crown.
There were also wild celebrations on one side of the Repsol Honda garage as home crowd hero Casey Stoner decimated the field to claim a fairytale farewell victory in his last home race appearance before he retires next month.
The other side of the Repsol Honda box though was full of dejection after Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead on the second lap crash at Turn 4 to extend his search for an elusive first MotoGP into an eighth campaign in 2013.
With Pedrosa out of the 27-lap race, Lorenzo only needed to finish 13th to seal his first world title since 2010.
He was able to finish in a safe and comfortable second place with Stoner in unbeatable form, as had been expected.
Stoner’s sixth consecutive victory at Phillip Island looked in little doubt once he inherited the lead from Pedrosa’s early blunder.
With Lorenzo not needing to take any risks as Pedrosa reflected on what might have been, Stoner took the chequered flagby almost 10 seconds before he got a rapturous reception from a massive crowd of just over 53,000 fans.
Crutchlow took only his second MotoGP podium in brilliant fashion after he superbly streaked away from an early battle involving Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
Crutchlow’s attack to move away in third began on lap eight when he moved over a second clear of the chasing trio for the first time.
The British rider continued to stretch his advantage to add to the third place he scored in Brno back in late August.
Dovizioso prevailed in the only exciting battle on track, as the top 10 were split by just over a minute in an uninspiring race, to take fourth.
Italian Valentino Rossi finished in a distant seventh but he was a massive 37 seconds behind Stoner.
Paul Bird Motorsport rider James Ellison escaped unhurt from an early crash.