MotoGP championship leader Casey Stoner tells us about nerves, adrenalin, and what he’s saying underneath his helmet…
Is there anything that you’d like to do that’s as much of an adrenalin rush as racing?
Not really any more. I’m pretty happy with getting a kick out of what I do and then… I mean, F1 in future would be great to test. Ever since I got married I sort of stopped the whole wanting to do some of the adrenalin-junkie stuff. You know, it just completely went out of my system and I wasn’t interested. Before then, I would like to have gone skydiving and things like that, but all of a sudden I just literally wasn’t interested in the slightest. I love watching it, and went to a Red Bull event back in ’06 with that guy that flew across the English Channel…
'Nerves definitely kick in when I know I can get a good result'
Felix, that’s him. I mean, all these guys came out of these planes that were there just before dinnertime, and then he dropped and just went [makes noise]. Like, just tucked in, went straight down above where we were, and then it felt like 50 metres… Yeah, he just came straight out of the ’chute, just above the trees that were in this little circle. Like three seconds later he was on the ground. He opened it that late. We were just like ducking and diving, and that was just awesome to watch. And I’m happy to watch it, more than to actually do it. Yeah, I’m more into the quiet life, to be honest.
Where do you turn the adrenalin on for a Sunday race? Do you get nervous?
It’s not so much adrenalin. Nerves definitely kick in when I know I can get a good result, and you feel like you want to die. You get that sick, you don’t want to deal through that pain anymore.
Like Malaysia last year? You knew that race was yours, because you were going to win it.
Yes and no. I’m talking about when, like in 2007 and 2008, when I was fastest in every session by over a second. I’ve learned to deal with it a lot more in the last couple of years. These days it’s a lot easier to deal with now I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt. I like to stay quiet, watching TV if I’ve got a TV, sit there and watch 125 and the Moto2 race, and that’s it. I mean, I probably get more stressed out before sessions than I do before a race. Before the race I’m pretty calm.
'I get on the bike, I go and do it, I come back, then I talk about it'
Do you swear underneath your helmet, like other riders do?
They do? You mean Nicky [Hayden], or someone like that? No, I never say a word to myself. Not one. Just once I’m out, I’m quiet… That’s it. It’s very easy for me, I don’t need to work myself up to anything. I get on the bike, I go and do it, I come back, then I talk about it.
You look very animated when you come into the pits. Are you having a conversation with Christian [crew chief] about someone who’s got in your way?
That’s happened a couple of times, yeah, it gets a bit frustrating. Because you’re out there with not a lot of time on track, trying to get the best set-up you can, and they’re stuffing your lap so you can’t see whether there’s any improvement or not. Makes the blood boil sometimes, for sure.
- Casey Stoner on life, loves and hobbies
- Repsol Honda Team website
- The official MotoGP website
- Casey Stoner profile on redbull.com