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GP Week : Issue 154
Reigning world champion and 2012 points leader Casey Stoner rocked racing – and contradicted his own vehement denials of just two weeks before – when he opened the Le Mans weekend by announcing he is to retire from MotoGP at the end of this season. The 26-year-old Australian cited a growing disappointment with the way MotoGP was developing and a fear that his lack of enjoyment in racing would destroy his love of motorcycles. A recent test in Australian V8 Supercars had nothing to do with it, but he did allow that the birth of his first child in February former had “made the decision easier.” Stoner’s wife Adriana was at the pre-event Press conference where Casey dropped his bombshell; new baby Alessandra in the motorhome for her first race, too young to share the standing ovation her father received at the end of the event. Keeping emotion firmly under wraps, Stoner explained: “I’m losing my passion and enjoyment in this sport. “This has come after a long time of thinking and talking with my family,” he said. There were things he still loved about GP racing, “but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction.” He pledged that “my decision isn’t going to change anything this season. We’ll still put in 110 percent, and maybe even more.” Stoner started racing at the age of four, left Australia for Europe at 14, and has been in GPs since 2001. Stoner picked out the development of MotoGP as a two-tier series with CRT bikes as one thing that contributed to his disillusionment: “This is not a two-standard championship. It is MotoGP, a prototype championship. It would be nice to see again some fantastic racing at the front, but with only a few factory bikes out there, it’s not going to happen soon. There needs to be some high-quality bikes out there,” he said. The banning of Moto2 and Moto3 rider motorhomes from the paddock was also irksome He also attacked the press for consistently misunderstanding him and also for criticising MotoGP; before launching into his own rubbishing of the way the sport was developing. "Racing is no fun any more ..." STONER QUIT ANNOUNCEMENT SHAKES MOTOGP MOTOGP >>> NEWS 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: