Casey Stoner’s quest to wrap up his second MotoGP World Championship at Phillip Island this afternoon has received a surprise boost with rival Jorge Lorenzo being forced to withdraw from the event.
Lorenzo, the reigning champion, injured his left-hand after crashing on the exit of Turn 12 in the morning warm-up.
In his last lap of the session, the Spaniard high-sided off his Yamaha before coming to rest on the edge of the circuit.
Stoner now needs only a top six finish to seal the title. The Honda-mounted Australian has topped every on-track session this weekend at the Island, and has won in Australia for the past four years.
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Australian Damian Cudlin will also be a non-starter today following his crash in practice yesterday morning. Cudlin had been riding in place of the injured Hector Barbera on the Aspar Ducati.