The main focus in Australia was definitely on Casey, with everybody knowing it could well be his last outing on the Island. On race day there was a record crowd of just over 53,000 packed in to witness a special occasion, and it was a sight to behold. It's been a while since I saw Casey race so fast and so determined, and it was a real pleasure to see him ride as he did. I really wasn't surprised to see him leave everyone else trailing in his wake, after all he had won for the last five years on the bounce at Phillip Island before the weekend and now it's six!
In the race it was down to Dani Pedrosa to push Jorge Lorenzo if he was to keep alive his title challenge, but Lorenzo showed in the practice sessions that it wasn't going to be easy. He had the better rhythm through the weekend.
Dani went for it and tried to put the pressure on right from the word go in the race, but he probably tried to go for it a bit too early and his crash on lap two was at a place where we saw plenty of riders go down throughout the weekend. It was a front-end fall on the right side of the tyre, and at that stage of the race the tyre temperature really wouldn't have been up to the necessary level. Nevertheless he went for it, and all credit to him because he's had a phenomenal second half of the season and as he said after the race, he had no regrets.
Lorenzo did what he had to do. That Yamaha package has been really good all season, probably not always the best but he managed to get close to 100% out of it every weekend and showed amazing consistency in finishing every race either first or second. His second MotoGP title is more than deserved.
For the Ducati guys this was a tough weekend, without doubt. They finished the race just over 30 seconds off the race winner, and at a track both Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden love. I think they'll head to Valencia now with expectations not too high, and I think things could turn out better than perhaps other people expect because of that.
It'll be Valentino's last race with Ducati and he'll want to sign off on a high, and they'll all be giving it 110% as they have been throughout their two seasons together. I really hope they can get a reward that acknowledges just how hard everyone has been working these past two years.
In Moto2 Marc Márquez was crowned champion, and now he'll come up to MotoGP to step into the departing Stoner's shoes at Honda. It's fair to say we have another big shot coming into MotoGP as one leaves, Casey being possibly the fastest guy I have ever had the fortune to see on a motorcycle during my career.
This is another huge talent coming in, and he could even be bigger than Casey, we'll have to wait and see. One certainty is that it's going to be extremely exciting for everyone to watch Marc adapt to a MotoGP bike and display his massive talent on the biggest stage.
So that's almost it for another season! One more race to go, and let's hope that Valencia bids the season farewell in the best possible way!