Casey Stoner's Australian Grand Prix victory was one of the most important in the history of Ducati, according to his team boss Livio Suppo.
Stoner, who missed three races during the middle of the MotoGP season due to illness, won his home race for the third year in a row after an intense race-long fight with Valentino Rossi. Suppo believes that his victory, coupled with the second place he achieved on his return in Portugal two weeks earlier, was, in part, down to the support offered to the 2007 world champion by the Italian squad.
"We've shown we are a company and a team able to react to difficulties, by staying united and by putting up with all kinds of criticism, even the unpleasant kind," Suppo told Gazetta dello Sport. "That's why the Phillip Island victory is undoubtedly of particular significance: it's one of the most important ever."
Suppo said that it was the right decision to rest Stoner for three races at Brno, Indianapolis and Misano, and replace him with rising star Mika Kallio, and believes he will be a stronger competitor next year as a result.
"There are no regrets: Casey needed this break, and if he had carried on racing he would have simply risked to get hurt," he added.
"Clearly he potentially had everything to win the title and this year, despite all the difficulties, he's one of the main players. Rather than looking at the past, I prefer to look at the future – in 2010 we'll be even more competitive."