There’s no question Casey Stoner was (and still is) one of the best riders ever to throw a leg over a motorcycle. His accomplishments on two wheels, especially his championships on both Ducati and Honda machinery, are proof. Next week at the MotoGP round at Phillip Island in Australia, Stoner will join a distinct group of riders as he will be officially inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame.
The Australian will thus become the 20th MotoGP Legend, joining an exclusive club already including Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Freddie Spencer, John Surtees and Carlo Ubbiali.
While the announcement isn’t surprising, its timing certainly is. It has been less than a year since Stoner announced his shock retirement from this sport at the age of 27. In his seven-year grand prix career he amassed two world championships, 45 Grand Prix victories, 89 podium finishes and 43 pole positions. Stoner has repeatedly stated he’s done racing motorcycles unless the machines get more power and less electronics. Meanwhile, he’s currently testing with his former employer, HRC, on development for next year’s factory and factory production racer.