Confirming rumours that he would soon be leaving MotoGP, Casey Stoner announced his retirement at a press conference last week. The two-time World Champion will not race beyond the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old had never made any secret of the fact that he would call time on his motorcycling career sooner rather than later, but his announcement at the Le Mans circuit came as something of a surprise to all.
“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 different things in my life,” Stoner stated.
'I don't have the passion for it and so at this time it's better if I retire now' – Casey Stoner
“After so many years of doing this 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 at this point, this sport has changed a lot to the point where I am not enjoying it. I don't have the passion for it and so at this time it's better if I retire now.
“There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won't be continuing any more. It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.”
Red Bull athlete Stoner, who won the 2007 title with Ducati and the 2011 crown with Honda, will now aim to sign off from his seventh season at the top level of the sport with a third title. He currently heads the MotoGP standings by a single point ahead of 2010 Champion Lorenzo, and won at the Le Mans track last year on his way to the title.