Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner will not participate in the upcoming MotoGP race at Brno after doctors advised him to get ankle surgery. After being injured at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix the reigning world champion soldiered on and finished the race in fourth place.
However, further review of the ankle revealed that surgery would be necessary so the soon to be retired racer is off to his homeland of Australia with plans to go under the knife, immediately.
A brief media release from Honda announced Stoner’s return to Australian for surgery:
“Casey Stoner will leave Brno this evening for Australia after his doctors advised him to have surgery on his damaged ankle.
“The Repsol Honda rider will hold a press conference in Brno at the HRC Hospitality unit at 15h30 this afternoon.”
UPDATE: Stoner spoke at the press conference on his injury and decision to undergo surgery. The following quote is from a Repsol Honda media statement:
“”I’m hugely disappointed for my team and all the guys around me. We’ve been waiting since Indianapolis for my doctor in Australia to receive the discs of the MRI scan and x-rays to fully understand the situation. The doctors in America were fantastic but I needed a specialist to study them and give me his report and explain exactly what’s gone wrong. We were hoping that once they had seen the scans that it wouldn’t be as bad as I first suspected and that we could race here, but in fact it was the opposite and a lot worse than first expected.
We only found out at lunchtime today that it was game over but it seems this is our only option at this point. We don’t have a timescale for my return yet —it depends on the surgery and how fast I can recover. We still have a season to complete and this isn’t just me giving up, I want to get back to racing as soon as possible. I have a job to do and a career to see through to the end and for it to finish like this would be a disaster, so I’ll be back as soon as I can to take part in as many races as I can before the end of the season.”
Stoner initially injured his right ankle in a crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix. X-ray and MRI scans revealed several injuries, including fractures and bone contusions in the right tibia and fibula, as well as ligament damage. Despite the injuries, the reigning MotoGP champion was able to compete at Indy, courtesy of modifications to his racing boot and the aid of pain injections.
The reigning MotoGP champion’s absense at Brno further cede’s the title fight to Stoner’s HRC teammate Dani Pedrosa, who trails factory Yamaha pilot Jorge Lorenzo by 18 points. Stoner currently sits 39 points adrift of Lorenzo in third. It is unclear when Stoner will be able to resume his title defense.
Honda Pro Racing further announced via its Twitter feed that “At this moment the recovery period is not known.”