Casey Stoner has announced that he will retire from the MotoGP championship at the end of the 2012 season.
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At the press conference at Le Mans Stoner said:
“After a long time 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 in different things in my life.
“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 and it has changed 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.”
Far be it for us to suggest that a lot of the negativity, changes, lack of racing interest, and general lack of ‘racing excitement v safety’ balance, has anything to do with the Australian’s own influence over recent seasons…
Nonetheless, Stoner is one of the most incredibly talented riders we have ever seen on a motorcycle, from any era, and whatever the general opinion is of his off-bike antics, attitude, and demeanour – you can never take anything away from his talent.