As always the weather on Phillip Island dominated most pre-race talk. Will it rain too much to run or will it wait until later and keep the track slick? That talk milled around until the injuries and last minute scratches began to pile up.
The first to scratch was Jorge Lorenzo with a finger injury, followed shortly by Ben Spies who had taken a header at 164 mph. A little too woozy from the concussion. Then Damian Cudlin, who was a fill-in for the injured Hector Barbera, announced that he would not ride because of injuries from a T4 spill the previous day. That narrowed the field down to 14 on race day. It also changed the front row of starters. The new line-up was Stoner, Simoncelli, and Alvaro Baustista.
From the go, Stoner left the pack and never felt pressure as he coasted to another easy win. The only battles on the track were for second and third as position changed hands numerous times. The battles only seemed to heat up after the white flag flew in the ninth lap. New bikes were had all around and the position jockeying continued in earnest.
The final podium at the Australian GP was Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli, and Andrea Dovizioso. Casey Stoner was crowned the 2011 MotoGP World Champion and it was his birthday. What a birthday present!