(CNN) -- Spain's Jorge Lorenzo was crowned MotoGP world champion Sunday after finishing second behind home favorite Casey Stoner in the Australian round at Phillip Island.
The Yamaha star took full advantage of a mistake by his closest rival Dani Pedrosa, who came off on Turn Four of the first lap to see his title hopes disappear.
Pedrosa's Honda teammate Stoner rode a peerless race to secure his sixth straight win on his home track, a fitting finale before his retirement at the end of the season.
Lorenzo held off Britain's Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to clinch his second world title in motorcycling's premier class.
"What a day! I'm very happy, it was easier than I expected because Dani made a mistake in a corner and crashed. I wanted to keep with Casey but he was so strong," he told the MotoGP official website.
"Today is an amazing moment. We've been very patient and very concentrated," he added.
He will go into the final race before his home fans in Valencia with a 43-point advantage over compatriot Pedrosa, who was philosophic after his first lap mistake.
"There is some sadness because we've been closer than ever to take the title, but also proud for all we achieved," he said.
"Concerning the crash, it was nothing strange, I just went wider on the corner lost the front, maybe the tire was not warm enough."
Stoner, who saw his hopes of defending the world title disappear after a crash at the U.S. round in Indianapolis, was delighted to have signed off in front of his loyal Australian supporters with another superb victory, the 45th of his glittering career.
"It was very important for me to win a race before the end of the season and I'm really happy to do it here, at home, in front of the huge crowd," he said.
"My condolences to Dani -- I saw him crash out in front of me - but he had to push today and go out and win the race to keep his championship hopes alive."
Crutchlow's teammate Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth with seven-time champion Valentino Rossi in seventh for Ducati.
Marc Marquez of Spain finished third in the Moto2 race to clinch the world title in that category.