Stoner wants fond home farewell
Casey Stoner will hope to bid farewell to his Australian fans as he seeks a sixth-straight grand prix win on home soil at Phillip Island.
Stoner will retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, and this weekend's race marks his penultimate event as a rider in the top class.
His hopes of signing off as a world champion were effectively ended by the fracture and dislocation he suffered during qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, but another victory at the Victorian track would be the perfect way to thanks his fans.
Stoner returned from his injuries at the Japanese Grand Prix, and the Repsol Honda rider returned to the podium with third in last weekend's rain-soaked Malaysian Grand Prix.
Stoner admits he is not sure what to expect in terms of his own performance, but remains hopeful of going out on a winning note.
He said: "We've really struggled with the bike set up in the past two races and I'm pretty disappointed with this. We always seem to find our rhythm in Phillip Island but I don't expect it to come easily this year.
"Thankfully the track goes to the left and we're having a lot less issues with chatter when it goes this way. Also there aren't so many sharp turns so my right leg might be able to deal with it a little better
"I'm still nowhere near 100 per cent physically and I still need time to be back to full strength so I'm not really sure what to expect this weekend, we'll do our best and see what happens."
Stoner's team-mate Dani Pedrosa is still very much in the title chase after winning in Malaysia, the diminutive Spaniard now trails Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo by 23 points with two races to go.
And with fond memories of Phillip Island from his 250cc championship winning seasons in 2004 and 2005, he hopes for more reasons to celebrate this time round.
"Phillip Island is a great track, especially on these machines where you can usually see rear slides," he said.
"The layout of the track makes racing very nice, so I hope we have good luck and that the bike is working well there also. I have very good memories from my championships back in 2004-2005 and I hope I can have a good race."