Two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has announced he will retire following the end of the 2012 season.
Rumors of Stoner’s impending retirement plans have been floating around for weeks with the 26-year-old Repsol Honda racer saying he will continue racing until he no longer enjoyed it. That seems to be the case now as the 2007 and 2011 MotoGP Champion announced he will retire at a press conference ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
“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,” Stoner said at the press conference. “I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP, and go forward in different things in my life.”
Those “different things” likely include his new baby girl and his wife Adriana.
“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,” says Stoner. “I don’t have the passion for it and so at this time it’s better if I retire now.”
Stoner says he is disappointed with the direction the sport is heading.
“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,” says Stoner. “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.”
Stoner is leading the 2012 MotoGP championship chase heading into the Le Mans round by a single point over Yamaha‘s Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner won the 2011 championship with Repsol Honda and the 2007 championship with Ducati Marlboro.
Heading into France, Stoner has 35 MotoGP wins and 62 podium appearances in 103 races. Stoner also has five wins and 10 podiums in 31 250cc Grand Prix races and two wins and 10 podiums in 30 125cc Grand Prix races.
[Source: MotoGP, photo by GEPA Pictures]