Casey Stoner on his way to victory in the Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain

Story highlights

Casey Stoner closing on MotoGP title after eighth win of the season

Honda star eases to victory in the Grand Prix of Aragon

Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo can only manage third place

Stoner 44 points clear of Lorenzo with just four races remaining of 2011 season

CNN  — 

Casey Stoner took a further step toward his second MotoGP world title with an impressive win in the Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain Sunday.

The Australian powered his Repsol Honda to a pole to finish line victory, his eighth of a dominant season with his teammate Dani Pedrosa of Spain in second place.

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo finished third at the Motorland circuit on his Yamaha and now trails Stoner by 44 points with just four races left of the season.

Stoner had slipped to third behind Lorenzo after starting from pole in the previous round in San Marino, but made no mistake this time after recovering from an indifferent start .

“I wanted to get to the front as soon as possible as the bike has been working perfect all weekend and it was our race to lose, so I tried to get in front and pull a gap,” he told the official MotoGP website.

Lorenzo was content with his podium position which kept his slim title hopes still alive.

“We are still fighting for the championship and that’s the most important thing, we are going to Japan (Motegi GP) with hope still alive,” he said.

Marco Simoncelli took fourth with American Ben Spies, who briefly led, back in fifth.

Simoncelli’s fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso crashed out on the first lap while Valentino Rossi struggled to 10th of 13 finishers on his Ducati.

Stoner was with Ducati when he won his first world title in 2007.

Home pair Marc Marquez and Nicolas Terol won the supporting Moto2 and 125cc races.