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Goodbye Casey: Stoner Confirms his Retirement at end of 2012 Series

When the Spanish publication Solo Moto announced Casey Stoner, just 26 years old, might retire at the end of the 2012 Moto GP championship series, Stoner was quick to discount the rumor, but did not deny it (even though several other Internet publications quickly reported his statement as a denial, it was clearly a non-denial). In the pre-race press conference for the Le Mans round this weekend, Stoner confirmed that he will in fact leave Moto GP at the end of this season, reading the following statement to the assembled media, while sitting next to his top competitors including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow:

“Afternoon everyone.”

“Basically, this has come after a long time of thinking, a lot of time talking with my family and my wife. This has been coming for a couple of years now, but at the end of this 2012 season, I will be not racing in the 2013 championship. I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP and go forward with something different with my life.”

“After so many years of doing the sport which I love, and which myself and my family made so many sacrifices for, after so many years of trying to get to where we have gotten to and this point. This sport has changed a lot, and it’s changed to the point that I’m not enjoying it, I don’t have the passion for it. So at this time, it’s better if I retire now. There’s a lot of things that have disappointed me and also a lot of things that I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately, the balance has gone in the wrong direction, and so basically I won’t be continuing any more. It would be nice if I could say that I will stay for just one more year, but then when does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.”

We called Stoner the “alien among aliens”, and believe his retirement will mark the end of an amazing, if relatively short, career.  Only two MotoGP championships (thus far), but many wins on the notoriously difficult-to-ride Ducati.   Stoner’s final race on the Ducati included a pole position and a podium finish, a contrast with the struggles of his successor Valentino Rossi that will likely never be forgotten.

55 Comments

  1. Pedro J Diaz says:

    He values his family and wants to be happy. I wish I had such courage to go out while on top.

  2. ZX14 says:

    Stoner like Lorenzo never had the fan base that Rossi has. Did you here the crowd roar when Rossi passed Stoner. Sadly, for all he has accomplished, the crowd never roared for stoner like that. It had to be humiliating to Stoner.

    • RBen says:

      You know we rarely hear Rossi crying and whining about things not going his way unlike Casey Stoner.We the fans want racing not Whining.I will never say Stoner is bad rider in fact I think he is the only rider good enough out there today that had a chance to match Rossis championship records of 7. As for Lorenzo I do think he has a pretty good fan base which includes me.

      • Pete says:

        You’re kidding right? What about Rossi crying and whining about his Michelins so bad that he half year ditched them for Bridgestones? Or his constant whining about the Ducati Stoner just rode? And won on. How ’bout Rossi whining to Yamaha..” It’s Lorenzo or me…he’s sharing all my setup info!!”

        Whaaaaaa…whaaaaaa.

        • Dave says:

          Mick Doohan was very outspoken about the same things. He wanted completely separate pit space with security from the rest of the team. He didn’t view ANYONE that didn’t work directly with him and only him as part of the team. I don’t recall anyone calling him a whiner.

          Calling world champions whiners from a couch. That’s funny…

        • RBen says:

          Pete you must be a Poor little Stoner fan.I’m sorry.LOL…

  3. lost ocker says:

    If you’re not 100% Aussie…then you won’t understand…he doesn’t have anything more to prove

  4. Kiwi Morgan says:

    Good luck to Casey. He’ll take out this championship the retire and enjoy his family in the second best country in the world to live in without the wrecked body that the likes of Sheene and Doohan endured. Plus he’ll get to go car racing (and probably do way better than Wayne Gardner did). Congratulations to the man for having a life!

  5. RBen says:

    Poor little Stoner (the balance has gone in the wrong direction)things are not going the way he want’s . Hmmmm I think this is just one more ploy from Stoner to get more money from MOTO GP and Honda.This guy has no drive or Passion for the sport.This is a great thing for Moto GP.Maybe we can have a little less crying and more racing. NOW lets get on with the racing with the real men.

  6. GEARBOX says:

    Ask Eddie Lawson how much passion he had left for the sport when he quit GP racing. Also ask him what he thought of the European press. Ditto for Mick Doohan. Stoner is just getting out earlier. If he hadn’t been pilloried, I have no doubt he would still be enjoying his racing.

  7. Philip says:

    Maybe the man just wants to be able to go out and eat a cheeseburger or in his case a hamburger every once in a while!

  8. Al says:

    Although I was never a fan of Stoner as a person I really appreciated his riding ability. MotoGP has lost its way with the CRTs and other changes and, particularly given the loss of Simoncelli last year, I can see why he might want to retire. I guess I’ll cheer for him to get one more championship and I can only wish him well for the future. Thanks for the thrills, and sometimes the spills Casey.

  9. DarylL says:

    I am certainly happy for Casey Stoner and will miss him racing; but I do have a comment to those that think Lorenzo is counting his lucky stars. Even if Lorenzo wins 4 championships after Casey leaves, there will always be that nagging question mark. Lorenzo would not want this. I do not believe for a moment that Casey is a better racer. Casey has more champianships and while at Honda has dominated but let’s look at a few things. Jeremy Burgess has said motorcycle racing is 80% rider and 20% bike. At the end of the 2010 season, Yamaha was raped of technical talent for varying reasons and has suffered since. BTW, Yamaha dominated that year with Lorenzo.

    The two top engineers, Andrea Zugna, Yamaha’s Engineering Division Manager, and Cristian Battaglia, Yamaha engineer, both joined HRC and work for Honda. Those two men are credited with helping to develop arguably the best electronics package on the grid in the Yamaha M1. Carlo Luzzi has been plucked directly from Jorge Lorenzo’s pit box, as the telemetry specialist is due to join Andrea Dovizioso’s pit crew in exactly the same capacity. And let’s not forget Jeremy Burgess leaving with Rossi at end of 2010 season.

    A team/manufacturer can not loose that much engineering talent at this level of competition. Lorenzo is a machine who makes very few mistakes and is very fast. But it is clear to me that Factory Honda still has the edge on 20% of the golden rule. Unfortunatly we may never see these two greats duke it out while both are on truely competitive bikes.

    • Gary says:

      No nagging questions in MY mind. Stoner is quicker than Lorenzo. He is quicker than anyone at the moment. It seems obvious to me.

  10. Adam says:

    Enough of the speculation that Rossi will get his seat and return to HRC. HRC has already stated they refuse to allow him to come back due to his remarks he wrote about them in What If I Never Tried, Rossis’s book a few years ago. Looks like Rossi should never have burnt that bridge ;)

    • Dave says:

      I’m sure they say that but egos get cast aside if the company wants to win. If they believed Rossi could win and Rossi wanted that seat, they would make it happen. Rossi is still a celebrity bigger than anyone else on two wheels and him winning again would be a shot in the arm that Moto GP could really use right now. Of course, that all depends on whether or not he can win anymore…

      I would speculate that Yamaha will want to gather some more money to keep Lorenzo happy.

  11. Roberto says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Rossi took that seat at Honda?

    • bikerrandy says:

      Honda has already said no way will Rossi ride 1 of their GP bikes again.

      • Norm G. says:

        it all works out then, come 2013 they’ll be all CRT won’t they…? “CutRaTes” are not grand prix.

        • Dave says:

          GP is whatever the rule book says it is. If the fans believe they’re watching the best riders in the world then it will continue to be seen as the top tier of the sport but that is what’s in jeopardy right now, and with this announcement, they’re losing a big chunk of their equity.

  12. Johnne Lee says:

    I believe Stoner is relapsing into the same “mysterious illness” that sidelined him earlier in his career. And, I don’t believe for a second that that illness was as reprted back then.

    I’m glad that he is going to enjoy what he has now.

    I retired at an early age, and I took a lot of grief about being a quit-er, being lazy, etc. That is until the world economy collapsed and prematurely ended many, many careers.

    I wish him the best.

  13. TomS says:

    It’s a rare competitor that can leave at the top of their game. Good luck to Casey!

  14. wilthis says:

    I predict Rossi will be back with Honda in 2013!

  15. craigj says:

    Good for him. What’s he got left to prove? He’s beaten argueably the best ever straight up on both inferior and superior hardware. He’s remained at the top even though his passion for it isn’t near what it used to be. He’s got more money than he or his future kids will ever need. I’m sure there are TV networks world wide willing to pay him the annual income of everyone reading this combined.

    And his wife is smokin’ hot.

    I’m sure if the embers ever start to glow again, someone will set him up with a really nice bike for track days, or he’ll open a riding school. He gets to be like the rest of us having fun on a bike.

    How can you not say good for him?

  16. EZ Mark says:

    Maybe he can get an announcer job for 10 mil a year.

    • Gary says:

      I don’t believe there are any moto analysts making that kind of Jack. Not even close.

  17. mxman420 says:

    Look, when have more money than you need, things have changed from what you are comfortable with, and really, if the fun isn’t there any more….why do it? Life is too short to be unhappy. Marco sealed the deal I bet.

  18. Pete says:

    Damn Shame. He’s been the most exciting racer to watch for years. I couldn’t care less about his personality etc. He sure was a well sideways racing madman!

  19. Norm G. says:

    re: “Lorenzo is the luckiest person in the world, Pedrosa is the second luckiest.”

    now without jobs.

  20. txcan01 says:

    Seriously. Its called having a family and realizing that your mortal, even if you are a great rider. Sure the direction of Motogp may not be to his liking but I honestly haven’t seen his heart in this for awhile. theres a reason most of these guys are single. Family and this life don’t quite work out.

  21. Rich says:

    Amen brother.

  22. Rich says:

    Mr. Stoner is nonpareil – given the current crop of riders. As others have noted, he may well be leaving due to the fans – or lack thereof. I have grown tired of the incessant use of “Stoner the moaner” and other oft repeated phrases. I, for one, have appreciated his candor regarding his bike’s or tire’s performance problems. He will be missed.

    • Tim says:

      I suspect the real reason is to satisfy pretty young wife. Marco’s death last year probably brought home the reality that people can die in this sport, no matter what safety precautions are taken. It had been a long time since MotoGP had experienced a death. He’s set for life financially. Now he can enjoy time with his family and pretty young wife won’t have to hold her breath every weekend.

      I think Rossi should consider taking a pay cut and signing with Honda, and try to make one last run at the championship. I personally think he’s probably washed up, but the only way to know for sure is to put him on the best bike and see what happens.

      • Mark Pearson says:

        My first thought when I heard the news was of Simoncelli, then Rainey. Rainey has been pretty clear he wasn’t enjoying riding when he got hurt. Schwantz has stated suddenly noticed all the Armco before he quit.

        Whether people admit or not, there’s no way to ignore how dangerous our type of fun is.

      • Kiwi Morgan says:

        Still think Rossi’s washed up after LeMans?????

  23. Pablo says:

    Maybe this is what the Mayans where refering to when they predicted the end of the world! Lorenzo will be one happy little camper……untill 2014 when Stoner comes out of retirement and re-signs with Ducatti and then goes on to win his 4th World Title.
    Im quietly hopefull that Ashton Kuther is behind this with a episode of “Punked”

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “untill 2014 when Stoner comes out of retirement and re-signs with Ducatti and then goes on to win his 4th World Title.”

      there will be no coming out of retirement, there will only be more baby making. :)

    • dino says:

      Great theory! That would explain the Mayan’s obsession with titanium and high-octane Maze-juice!

  24. Jmomma says:

    Good for him.He has been at the elite level for several years now.He has championships and scores of race wins,legend status firmly cemented on account of the number of wins he had on an un winable in anyone elses hands Ducati.He has a beautiful wife and a child and I wish him the best and thanks for being a champion!I enjoyed watching him race!

  25. Norm G. says:

    re: “Now we’ve just gotta pin-point what it is he’s been unhappy with. Doubt it’s a HRC internal thing, so it’s either to do with the current bikes, health and fitness, or (more likely) the Dorna and FIM administration and media circus.”

    the answer is C. none of the above. we have to stop looking left and right, high and low, at everything and everybody else, and start looking in THE MIRROR…!!! i’ve only been saying it ad-nauseum… the problem is with the fans (ie. those who “consume” motoGP). that’s you, me, we, us.

    • Gutterslob says:

      fwiw, I’m a fan of no GP rider. I do have respect for their skills and whatnot (though that took a dive after their bratty Motegi tantrum last year), but I’m mainly a manufacturer guy. I watch GP for the machines, WSBK for the comedy (now less so since Haga left), and real road-racing (Irish series, IoM TT) for the riding.

      • Dave says:

        Motegi tantrum? They were and are right. One small earthquake and most of northern Japan will need to be evacuated. Read about “fuel pool 4″. Short version – 85 times the amount of cesium 137 as Chernobyl.

        • Gutterslob says:

          Right? Was I the only one who LOL’ed when ducati found out there was radiation around the Motegi pit-garages than around their own factory in Bologna?

          It was an insult to all the people living and working in Motegi.

    • Delta Zulu says:

      Glad you can read minds. You must be president and CEO of the KIA Club. Oh, and King Bloviator!

  26. mickey says:

    I really thought he would continue next year, but if he wins this year he’d probably be enter off retiring young, rich, unhurt, and on top. If he’s not enjoying it, what else does he have to prove? I have certainly enjoyed watching his limitless talent, and wish him nothing but the best.

  27. Norm G. says:

    FUKK A DUKK…!!! this even takes me by surprise, but see i told you guys the day was soon coming where he would issue a big “reality check” to the devaluing fans of modern day. this one’s post dated for novemver 11th 2012 and drawn on the bank of CRT. cue the merger stage left.

  28. pat depp says:

    i understand why is retiering,moto gp is sanitized and plain boring. look at british superbike racing without electronics,pretty exciting stuff and there hiting the 200mph mark on regular motorcycle,no prototype here.Look at the guys racing the nw200 this week.

  29. Gutterslob says:

    Sad news indeed. I’m pretty sure everyone within the Honda/HRC camp (except Pedrosa and Puig) would’ve been gutted when they first heard of this. You can tell that, despite what the media paints, everyone in the team values him greatly.

    It’s a shame. I feel that he only got to show his true dues on his return to Honda. He wasn’t given much from the factory on his first stint (with LCR, I believe) and even though he achieved so much for Ducati, nobody there listened to him much, especially after Livio Suppo left.

    Gotta wonder, if it were Rossi announcing that he was leaving because he was unhappy with the current state of affairs in MotoGP, would Dorna and the FIM do everything in it’s power to rectify the problems to have him stay. Same for Pedrosa or Lorenzo, for that matter, since they’re Spanish. I doubt Stoner’s doing this for bargaining leverage of some sort.

    Still, you have to respect his decision. He’s often been quoted in Aussie press interviews saying he wants to “give back to the family, start something with them”, and that desire has probably been strengthened with the birth of his child. If he does take this year’s MotoGP crown (as many suspect he will), then what better way to retire?!

    Whether he takes up other forms of racing remains to be seen. Doubt he’ll do the big one (Isle of Man TT) since modern GP riders aren’t raised like that, but I’m pretty sure WSBK would welcome him with open arms if he went their way. I don’t quite see it, though.

    Now we’ve just gotta pin-point what it is he’s been unhappy with. Doubt it’s a HRC internal thing, so it’s either to do with the current bikes, health and fitness, or (more likely) the Dorna and FIM administration and media circus.

    • Dave says:

      It’s that the class is so mismanaged that there are only 12 factory bikes, 4 with a chance of winning on the line. It’s similar to the Mladin/Speis years in AMA except that was much more affordable.