Casey Stoner has cemented his place as one of Australia's greatest ever sportsmen with a weekend of near-perfection and an extraordinary sixth successive Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix win.
In his farewell home appearance, Stoner overcame a poor start to win pulling away from his rivals - including new MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Lorenzo's second place secured him the world title after nearest rival Dani Pedrosa crashed out while leading the race on the second lap at Phillip Island.
After dominating the previous two days' practice and qualifying, Stoner proved unbeatable, uncatchable and invincible on race day.
His fans came in record numbers to say goodbye to a rider who nestles comfortably alongside past world champions Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner as greats of both world motorcycling and Australian sport.
More than 53,000 attended race day, and 122,000 over the three-day Phillip Island event.
Stoner rode so fast they could barely see him at times - speeds beyond 340km/h turning the 27-year-old and his Honda into an orange blur.
Stoner, who says he's retiring because he's fallen out of love with life on the MotoGP circuit, admits he doesn't feel comfortable talking publicly about his emotions.
But even he was moved to take it all in during the final few laps, as his end of season retirement gets closer.
"I'm not really a very emotional person, but I think it says enough seeing the people out on the pit straight and the reception we got for winning this race," Stoner said.
"I've got so much support over the years racing at home, but this year was so much more than all the years previous. It was quite something to take in.
"I actually took notice in the last few laps - everybody cheering me on. It was just amazing to see the amount of people up there."
While Stoner got the fairytale ending, teammate Pedrosa had a nightmare beginning which opened the race up for the Australian and handed the world title to Yamaha's Lorenzo.
The Spaniard's second place gives him an unassailable lead in the points standings with one race remaining at Valencia in two weeks.
Starting from pole, Stoner was beaten off the line by both Spaniards, with Pedrosa taking the lead from Lorenzo late on the opening lap.
But he then slid out of control while taking a corner, forcing his retirement from the race.
Once Stoner inherited the lead from the stricken Pedrosa, he built the buffer on every lap despite the painful ankle injury which has dogged him for weeks.
Stoner eventually beat Lorenzo by more than nine seconds and the Spanish rider led the tributes for a two-time world champion who has now won 38 GP races.
"He is the most talented rider I have ever seen. I have a lot of respect for Casey," said Lorenzo, who also won the championship in 2010.
"Pure talent, very quick. But he has decided to stay with his family - enjoy his life. And we will miss him."