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Casey Stoner Announces MotoGP Retirement

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Casey Stoner delivered stunning news at the MotoGP press conference at Le Mans  annoucing his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season.
Casey Stoner delivered stunning news at the MotoGP press conference at Le Mans, annoucing his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season.
Casey Stoner has shocked the Grand Prix racing world by announcing his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season. The Repsol Honda rider broke the surprising news at the pre-race press conference for the Le Mans round.

Stoner cited a lack of passion for the sport and disappointment in the direction MotoGP is heading as driving his decision to leave. The announcement comes after Stoner denied media accounts of his retirement at the previous Estoril round.

The Australian will leave the sport with at least two titles in the premier class, taking his first in 2007 with Ducati and his second last season with Honda. The 26-year-old currently leads the 2012 title chase by one point over rival Jorge Lorenzo.

The stunning news from Stoner shakes up the 2013 rider contracts. Stoner's position at HRC seemed the most secure in the paddock, but his absence opens the door wider for Repsol's Moto2 star Marc Marquez - though rules dictate the rookie must toil one season under a satellite banner. So who will get the coveted Repsol Honda seat?

One rider who won't be leaving MotoGP at the end of the season is Valentino Rossi. Reports state the seven-time premeir class champion confirmed his intentions to stay in GP through the 2014 season.

Read the official statement below Courtesy of Respol Honda

Reigning MotoGP World Champion and 2012 points leader Casey Stoner stunned the MotoGP paddock at Le Mans this afternoon when he announced his retirement. The 26-year-old will stop racing motorcycles at the end of this season.

The Repsol Honda rider cited personal reasons for his decision, as well as suggesting that MotoGP’s new direction – with the introduction of lower-cost and lower-performance CRT machines for some riders – also played a part.

“This has come after a long time of thinking and talking with my family and my wife,” he said. “It’s been coming for a couple of years now. At the end of this season I will finish my career in MotoGP and follow different things in my life. After so many years of doing the sport I love, for which myself and my family have made so many sacrifices, this sport has changed a lot and it’s changed to the point where I’m not enjoying it. I don’t have the passion for it, so it’s better if I retire now. It’d be nice if I could say I’ll stay one more year but then when does it stop, so we decided to finish.

"My decision isn’t going to change anything this season. We still want to win races and we’ll still put in 110 per cent of effort and maybe even more

“I’ve been watching this championship for a long time and it’s easy to see what works and what doesn’t."

“There are many, many different reasons but basically it’s me losing my passion for the racing and my enjoyment for the sport. Sure, I’m going to enjoy this year but I’m sure if I continue it would be a mistake.

“There’s many things I’d like to do with my life. I don’t want to keep racing bikes to the point where I lose my passion for motorcycles. I love bikes, they’ve been my whole life, and if I keep doing this I’m afraid I’ll completely lose my passion. Maybe I’ll still have some involvement in the sport, if I can find the energy, to maybe help some young riders, things like that.

“We’ve had a great career, we’ve had some fantastic races and I feel even after my first championship in 2007 I’d already reached my goal. This was my dream: to be World Champion. It’s been a difficult up and down road but a fantastic one. I won’t have any regrets.”

The Australian started racing in dirt track competition when he was four-years-old. A multiple state and local champion, his family moved to Britain when he was 14 so he could start racing on tarmac. He won a British roadrace title at his first attempt – in 2000 – and made his Grand Prix debut in the 250cc class in 2002, when he was 16 years old. He won five 250 GP victories and two 125 GP victories before graduating to MotoGP in 2006, with LCR Honda. The following year he won his first MotoGP victory and the world title with Ducati. He has won 35 races in the premier class.
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Bristecom   May 20, 2012 01:20 AM
I wonder if Honda is playing a role in this. It seems like almost everyone who rides for Honda ends up hating the sport. But I suppose he has a kid now and all the money he needs so it's understandable to retire. But to most of these riders, motorcycle racing is their life. So with this, I hate to say it but, Stoner will go down as an extremely talented rider but Rossi will go down as a legend. If Rossi can turn around the Ducati and win another championship, that'll be enough for him I think.
AnthonyD   May 19, 2012 04:23 PM
Moto2 is terrible? Why do you say that? It's what the premier class should model itself after. The lap times are faster than the 2 stroke era. The races over the last three seasons have produced multiple winners. The raving is tight nd the grid is packed. What else could you want?
GrayFox117   May 19, 2012 07:52 AM
O_O.....wow, this came out of left field! He's doing so good at Repsol HONDA, especially with the way he dominated last year. I figured he get a another title or 2 with Repsol before calling it quits. Weird.
Rucuss54   May 19, 2012 06:43 AM
Nobody likes this guy, he's booorrring! Hopefully HRC move all development to Pedrosa's side.
MotoFreak   May 18, 2012 05:17 AM
Stoner retiring - What a waste of talent.....As far a CRT - it will be the end of MotoGP - MOTO2 is terrible.....I might have to start watching baseball.
Rocky R   May 17, 2012 10:13 PM
I think the CRT rule isn't helping anything. People want to see the elite riders on the best equipment available. Part of the problem is with so much electronics; traction control, wheelie control, suspension altering, the excitement of spectating at one of these events is no longer what it once was. The riders had to manhandle these tire spinning, wheel launching rockets, and it was an awesome sight to see. Minimize some of the electronics and the riders can be bigger in size and not pay such a steep penalty. The most skilled rider will once again reign as champion, not the one with the best computer nerds toting laptops minimizing the rider's role. Something needs to happen soon before more talent looks elsewhere to compete.
Gray22   May 17, 2012 08:13 PM
Wow this is shocking. It is too bad that the direction of the premier class is making one of it's very best disinterested in competing. On a different note, is any one else watching world super bike and particularly moto gp worried about the health of the riders? In particular I am concerned over the size of the riders. Do they not eat? It's getting ridiculous is it no? They are jockeys. May be Casey Stoner just wanted to eat.
philthy_utah   May 17, 2012 04:48 PM
Wow. The bright side = Losing such a dominant rider will make those currently clamoring for 2nd place much more exciting as they now have a chance for 1st next year. God knows GP needs some excitement.
r8drid8r   May 17, 2012 02:47 PM
"Ahh...", the sound of the collective sigh of relief from Pedrosa fans.
22AaronW   May 17, 2012 01:26 PM
Adios, chump.
screamer69   May 17, 2012 01:13 PM
guess he wasn't lying when he said he doesn't care about records...
luv2spd   May 17, 2012 01:10 PM
Noooooooooooo. The rumors of Rossi retiring at the end of the year and now this, Casey is the most exciting rider to watch to race a motorcycle. :(
Oliver   May 17, 2012 11:20 AM
Strange. I wonder what drove his decision.
WilCon   May 17, 2012 11:07 AM
Kenny Roberts Sr anyone? I guess the strain of the media is more than he cares to deal with.