Stoner looks for series win on his 26th birthday

Phillip Islands (Australia): Casey Stoner looks to complete his fifth straight MotoGP win at home in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, and potentially clinch his second world championship — all on his 26th birthday.

Stoner has a 40-point lead over defending series champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain, the only rider who can prevent the Australian from winning the season title. There are two rounds remaining after Sunday`s Phillip Island race — Oct. 23 in Malaysia and Nov. 6 in Spain.

On Tuesday, former American rider Kevin Schwantz predicted Stoner will overtake Mick Doohan as the Australian with the most MotoGP wins.

Doohan, a five-time world champion, has 54 wins; Stoner seeks his 32nd on Sunday on the picturesque 4.445-kilometer (2.76-mile) circuit.

"I won my first GP in 1988 and I was 24, but Casey`s got 31 wins ... he went past me a long time ago," Schwantz, who won 25 races and was the 1993 world champion said. "He`s got time on his side and absolutely Casey can go ahead of Mick.”

"Casey could get more than 54 wins and stop before he`s 30 the way he`s going with his strike rate on the Honda."

Stoner has won eight races this season since making a switch from Ducati to Honda.

"I can see Casey getting another couple of wins and making 10 this season. The title is Casey`s for the taking," Schwantz said.

Italy`s Valentino Rossi holds the world record of 79 MotoGP race wins.

Bureau Report

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