Casey Stoner grabbed 10 wins, 12 pole positions, 16 podiums, the MotoGP Championship, and $9.1 million in 2011. Not too bad of a year…
A new report in the Business Review Weekly places Stoner second on the annual list of Austalia’s top 50 sports earners. Andrew Bogut, the center for the Milwaukee Bucks, is the only Australian athlete to earn more than Stoner in 2011. Bogut brought in $13 million last year. Bogut is also the first basketball player to top Australia’s list.
Three of the top five earning athletes in Australia were motorsport athletes. Stoner beat out Formula One driver Mark Webber, who topped the list in 2010.
Motocross rider Chad Reed also fared pretty well for himself in 2011. Reed brought in $8.5 million from racing in the AMA Motocross and AMA Supercross series last year.
The Business Review Weekly list reports the dollar amounts in Australian dollars, which is roughly the same as American. Stoner’s $9.1 million is worth about $9.2 million USD.
Alvaro Bautista should be at 100% when he hits the track for the start of the 2012 MotoGP season. Bautista had an operation today to remove pins from his leg and will soon be resting at home.
Bautista injured his leg during the opening round of the 2011 season. Bautista crashed during a practice session at Qatar and broke his left femur. After missing a few rounds, Bautista was able to return to the MotoGP grid, but his 2011 performance was greatly hindered by his lingering injury.
“Thanks to the all the staff at the USP San José hospital and Dr. Angel Villamor’s terrific team, who have always treated me well,” Bautista said. “Now I’ll rest and tomorrow morning I’ll get discharged to rest at home.”
Before the Spanish rider’s operation, Bautista joined Randy Mamola on for the 23rd for Riders for Health Experience Africa.
“People often wonder what it is that MotoGP riders do during the winter when there are no races. Obviously, there is lots of training to be done, but this November I was lucky enough to visit Zambia with the amazing charity, Riders for Health, and take part in their Experience Africa adventure,” Bautista wrote in a blog post. “It has been very important for me to see just how important the work of Riders for Health is, and how the support of all of us in MotoGP is making a difference. It is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
After a brief hiatus in construction to sort out some contract issues, The Circuit of the Americas is pleased to announced that Formula 1 Racing will officially return to the US in 2012. Construction will resume immediately as the Circuit of Americas and Formula One Management have agreed to a 10-year deal.
Red McCombs, chairman of McCombs Enterprises and founding partner of Circuit of The Americas stated:
“Mr. Ecclestone received his check today. We want to thank the fans supporting us, the local officials and businesses that have encouraged us, the State of Texas, Circuit of The Americas’ staff and Bernie himself. I want to thank and commend Bobby Epstein for getting us across the finish line. Bobby’s perseverance and leadership kept the project on track despite unfair and unfounded criticism.”
Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas, added: “Our investors have believed all along that this project has tremendous benefit for our region, and provides a strong economic engine for the future. We remain committed to reaching our goal of being valuable community partners as we establish a platform for sports and entertainment. We’re glad that Tavo’s vision of bringing F1 to the people of Texas will become a reality.”
Construction at the Circuit of the Americas will resume immediately so that the track can be completed ahead of the 2012 race date.
“We have a substantial number of fans who have expressed interest in buying tickets and hospitality, so today is a win for all of them as much as it is for Circuit of The Americas,” said Steve Sexton, president of Circuit of The Americas. “We encourage everyone to visit our website and register for information. Registered fans will receive the first communication regarding ticket sales plans. In a matter of weeks we will have more exciting news as we unveil our full calendar of world class events.”
Michele Pirro will be stepping up to the MotoGP class for the 2012 season. Pirro, who won the final Moto2 race of the 2011 season will ride the San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT machine alongside Alvaro Bautista on the RC213V. Pirro’s bike will feature a FTR chassis and a Honda CBR1000R engine.
“We think that for a new project like CRT, the right thing to do was give Michele Pirro an opportunity to further demonstrate his potential,” Fausto Gresini said. “In the final round of the Moto2 World Championship, he certified that he has the technical and competitive qualities and we believe that in this new category of CRT he can be one of the protagonists.
“His victory in Valencia was impressive and memorable; he provided us all enthusiasm and encouraged us to want to be a part of this fascinating adventure. Also, we have keep in mind that we are a Italian team, this is important for us, and the decision to do this project with Michele is also the result of this standpoint”.
Michele Pirro added:
“I’m happy to have made this decision and proud to join the San Carlo Honda Gresini team in this interesting new adventure. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because of the fact that initially I had wanted to try to improve on the 2011 results I had in Moto2, but the growing confidence that Fausto Gresini had for me at the end of the season left me with no doubt about the choice to take. I feel honored to continue to be a part of this fantastic group and to work together with them on this ambitious project that represents the future of MotoGP. I hope to return the confidence they have in me with results and technical contributions to this exciting team.
The start of the 2012 MotoGP season is still five months away. If you can’t wait for the real thing, you can get your MotoGP racing kicks with the MotoGP Fantasy Manager.
The iPhone App (which works with the iPod Touch and the iPad) gives you complete control over your team. Pick your rider, engine, and chassis, manage your budget, buy upgrades, and compete for real prizes.
The description reads:
“Start your engine and hit top speed with MotoGP Fantasy Manager! Get ready to lead your own motorcycle team in each of the 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP classes and be the World Champion! A game that combines the classic features of being a Manager with the true element of Fantasy, and with all the real and official content of MotoGP..
The competition begins today with the Grand Prix of Qatar.
You can download the new app here.