Phil Aynsley recounts the 2009 Portuguese GP

Where Casey Stoner made his return to form following illness

Words and Images by Phil Aynsley


In 2009 I had the opportunity to attend the Portuguese GP at Estoril. As it turned it was the meeting where Casey Stoner returned after missing three races due to what was eventually diagnosed as lactose intolerance.

Casey, flanked by Livio Suppo (L) and Filippo Preziosi (R) give a press conference on the Thursday to discuss his return from illness.
Casey, flanked by Livio Suppo (L) and Filippo Preziosi (R) give a press conference on the Thursday to discuss his return from illness.

2009 was the year in which Valentino Rossi won his sixth MotoGP title, in a season where he took the Championship from fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, while Casey Stoner would finish the season in fourth, aboard the Ducati.

The Portugese Round was the 14th of 17 rounds, and saw Stoner return to form, taking second, which he’d follow up with first in the following Australian round, and another win in Malaysia, with a DNS in the season final at Valencia.

In the Ducati pit box.
In the Ducati pit box.

Casey Stoner would finish the season on 220 points to Rossi’s 306, having missed four races and placed in the top five of all but one race, where he was 14th in Great Britain.

In the Ducati pit box.
Bike prep on the Ducati GP09 in pit box.

Friday morning practice in the fog.
Friday morning practice in the fog.

Friday morning practice in the fog.
Stoner heads out in the Friday morning practice in the fog.

Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.
Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.

Mika Kalio, Ducati GP9.
Mika Kalio, Ducati GP09.

Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9.
Casey Stoner, Ducati GP09.

The business end of the GP9!
The business end of the GP09!

Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.
Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.

Loris Capirossi, Suzuki GSV-R.
Loris Capirossi, Suzuki GSV-R.

Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.
Chris Vermeulen on the Suzuki GSV-R.

Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.
Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.

The Honda RC212V.
The Honda RC212V.

Nicky Hayden, Ducati GP9.
Nicky Hayden, Ducati GP09.

Mika Kalio, Ducati GP9.
Mika Kalio, Ducati GP09.

Toni Elias, Honda RC212V.
Toni Elias, Honda RC212V.

Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9.
Casey Stoner, Ducati GP09.

Casey Stoner in the Ducati pit box.
Casey Stoner in the Ducati pit box.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.

Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9 follows Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki GSV-R.
Casey Stoner, Ducati GP09 follows Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki GSV-R.

Colin Edwards, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Colin Edwards, Yamaha YZR-M1.

The Desmosedici GP09.
The Desmosedici GP09.

The Desmosedici GP09.
The Desmosedici GP09.

Mika Kalio, Ducati GP9.
Mika Kalio, Ducati GP09.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.

Andrea Dovizioso, Honda RC212V.
Andrea Dovizioso, Honda RC212V.

Casey Stoner in the Ducati pit box.
Casey Stoner and team in the Ducati pit box.

Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.
Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha YZR-M1.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.

Casey and Adriana on the grid.
Casey and Adriana on the grid.

Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.
Dani Pedrosa, Honda RC212V.

Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9.
Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9.

Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9 leads Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.
Casey Stoner, Ducati GP9 leads Valentino Rossi, Yamaha YZR-M1.

Casey and Adriana after the race.
Casey and Adriana after the race.

Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his win on the podium.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his win on the podium.

Casey was extremely happy with his 2nd place on his return to racing after the three race break.
Casey was extremely happy with his 2nd place on his return to racing after the three race break.

2009 MotoGP – Portugal – Race Classification

  1. Jorge Lorenzo 45:35.522
  2. Casey Stoner +6.294
  3. Dani Pedrosa +9.889
  4. Valentino Rossi +23.428
  5. Colin Edwards +32.652
  6. Toni Elias +35.709
  7. Andrea Dovizioso +35.723
  8. Nicky Hayden +38.830
  9. James Toseland +44.093
  10. Chris Vermeulen +52.863
  11. Randy de Puniet +55.698
  12. Marco Melandri +1:04.515
  13. Niccolò Canepa +1:04.538
  14. Gábor Talmácsi +1:27.299