Reigning MotoGP champion Casey Stoner is just 26 years old, but has been riding in the FIM series since 2001 when he joined the 125cc ranks. Five years later, the Australian was in the headlining formula series with Honda, the year after that, in 2007, he won the title astride a Ducati. Last year, Stoner won it again with Honda, and even battling an issue with his arm this year, he's atop the standings and leading his rivals in practice sessions for this weekend's French GP at Le Mans.

But Stoner used yesterday's GP press conference to announce his retirement at the end of this year. The Australian says the sport had gone in a direction that doesn't interest him and that he simply isn't enjoying it enough to continue the sacrifices necessary to be competitive at the top level. Speculation is that he wants to spend time with his wife and daughter, and perhaps that he plans to drive in the Australian V8 Supercar series.

Fellow Aussie and MotoGP legen Mick Doohan said he doesn't believe just yet that Stoner will actually ride off into farm life. Even so, the fact that the current World Champion is unhappy enough to publicly announce the end of his career is a shock to the MotoGP world. Have a look below for a video news report on Stoner's announcement.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      "..the sport had gone in a direction that doesn't interest him.." This doesn't sound like burnout, but something political within the sport. Which leads me to think that if "things" change, he would continue on or come back.
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        There's been quite a bit of public, and not so public, discontent between the top moto gp riders and the direction FIA and Dorna have been taking MotoGP. It's not surprising to me to hear him say it's going in a direction that doesn't interest him. Some have citied the increase in electronic aids, others have stated the tire and R&D rules, and many other things. Hard to be sure what really is the key factor there, and I'm not saying I know what the real reason is, but I know there has been plenty of unease amongst the ranks the past few years.
      fserrano85
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck to you Casey in whatever you decide to do you remain one of my favorite riders and the one of the main reasons I got into motogp thanx =)
      bleexeo
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the most talented riders ever. But he is a dick. After Marco's passing, the birth of his first child, his past illness and all the traveling away from family - and a ton of money already - you can't blame him for wanting to do something else while he still can.
      fserrano85
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck in whatever you decide to do Casey hate to see you leave the sport but you will keep being one of my favorite riders =)
      Erik
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a Ducatista, I am sad to see Casey go. He took the factory's flawed bikes and made them competitive in a way that the alleged GOAT cannot. He effectively hands the series over to Lorenzo, and possibly Marquez, assuming he coninues his winning ways after moving up from Moto2. Hopefully, we'll see him racing elsewhere in 2013 and beyond.
        IOMTT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Erik
        To be the GOAT, you must have won at the Isle of Man. That trims the list to Agostini, Hailwood, and Surtees. I don't think any modern MotoGP riders would even dare go near the place. If you never heard of any of them, it is time to read up. Once upon a time, the Isle of Man paid points toward the World Championship and the best went there.
          Brian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @IOMTT
          Agreed. Even Rossi, who was present at the Isle a few seasons ago doing a publicity ride on the 09 R1 said he would be very leery of racing there.
      gtv4rudy
      • 2 Years Ago
      ... just 26?
      Nowuries
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, what a loss to the sport...
      cinoiem
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sad to see him leave MotoGP. He should stay and win a few more seasons at least.
      404 not found
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd want to spend time with his wife too.
      John Siviour
      • 2 Years Ago
      I heard the news of Casey's departure and was more than a little sad. Having said that, on seeing his interview with Rusty and Darryl Beattie I gained some insight and understanding. In this interview Casey made pointed reference to his disappointment at comments on his illness of some years ago. Interestingly, at the time, Daryl made some remarks ( that struck me as rather unflattering) about Casey's unfortunate predicament/illness. IIRC the comments basically suggested that Casey's head space was flawed. Now, while Daryl was no island at the time, I was disappointed that he chose to make such comments. Based on their conversation (aired this weekend last) I infer that Daryl has (at least in private) made amends for his expressed views/changed his mind. However shame Daryl has not more widely expressed his apparent change of heart. Taking Casey's comments in total, I believe the comments made on his illness, those some years ago, played a significant role in his current decision. Anyway Casey: you departure is a loss to MotoGP. May you travel safely and enjoy your future endeavours. ciao js
      HAAS599
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jorge is having a great day
      eg6civic
      • 2 Years Ago
      nothing wrong with quitting as the high scorer in my opinion, especially at 26!
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