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GP Week : Issue 156
Casey Stoner’s litany of complaints about the deterioration of paddock life and the loss of atmosphere to commercialism seem all wrong for a stripling of only 26 – and the World Champion agrees. “I really wish I’d been born 20 years earlier,” he laughingly agreed, when asked whether he didn’t think he sounded old-fashioned. “It was better back then,” he said. “It’s disappointing that the paddock has turned out this way.” He bemoaned the fact that riders nowadays are “living in a bubble” , cosseted within closed team hospitality units; while the living area for motorhomes was now so squeezed by these corporate-friendly units that there was no longer enough room for the riders. New motorhomes for Moto2 and Moto3 riders are banned from the paddock, and the rest squeezed up over by the car park; while double-storey glass-fronted corporate entertainment units have proliferated. “Back then you could have a good battle on the race-track and then all talk to each other after wards.” But he disagreed in one way with the good-old-days faction, and those who say the racing was also better: “If you look at the records there were plenty of times they weren’t as close as today,” he said. ‘I WAS BORN 20 YEARS TOO LATE’ STONER: 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS