by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
Moto GP news >> Stoner: I still love bikes, racing and Ducati CASEY Stoner has broken a silence that has lasted since before his withdrawal at Brno, explaining his reasons for pulling out after chronic fatigue struck, in an interview published in the Italian MotoSprint magazine, and promising to be back as soon as possible. "I have not lost my love for bikes and racing, and neither for Ducati," he told the magazine. "My plan is to return to racing as soon as I get my energy back." His father Colin said this should be at Estoril, as planned. Stoner told MotoSprint how the fatigue problems had worn him down: "I felt vulnerable, and found myself in the position of someone doing something I hate ... like finding yourself doing a job you can't stand, but that you have to do anyway." Being unable to compete for victory was a major blow. He knew he could match his rivals for speed, the magazine reported, but could not sustain it for long enough. Stoner spoke about the toll taken by the level of effort required to compete at the highest level, and how athletes at the pinnacle of their sports were willing to push themselves beyond their own physical boundaries: "I'm certainly not the first athlete to do that. I have got to the point that I need rest because the fatigue has become too much to recover as quickly as I should." The interview was realistic but not lacking in promise or optimism; but the rumours of deeper problems would not go away -- fed by a throwaway comment on the BBC web-site, where a reporter wrote about "the increasingly fragile relationship" between Stoner and Ducati. As well as his BBC role, the writer moonlights writing Press releases for the Marlboro Ducati team, and has a closer relationship with Stoner than most of the genuinely independent Press -- so the comments were taken as indicative. Former champ insists he will be back at Estoril 15