Casey Stoner hailed his MotoGP comeback as "close to perfect," after taking a dominant victory in a wet Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 2007 world champion missed three races during the middle of the season due to illness. But since his return in Portugal, the Ducati rider has taken two victories and a second place, to move himself into a position to challenge Jorge Lorenzo for second in the world championship at the Valencia season finale.
"I couldn't ask for more after the season we've had," he said. "The last three races have been close to perfect and this whole weekend has gone very well for us. Since I came back in Portugal, I've just been feeling stronger and stronger and I was really happy with my fitness level this weekend, especially in very tough wet conditions.
Stoner said that he had not expected to pull out such a huge gap early on, the Australian ending the third lap nearly eight seconds clear of the field at Sepang.
"Once I was in the lead, I just decided to go a test the track for a few laps, he added. "Of course, you still have to push because otherwise everyone will come past you, but I was very surprised that I had the advantage I did."
"After that, I just decided to keep doing the same thing until at least half-distance, before backing off the pace later on, once I was happy and comfortable, and once things started to get a bit greasy once the rain stopped."