Ducati MotoGP project director Livio Suppo is insisting that rumors of Casey Stoner’s departure from MotoGP are untrue, and that the 2007 World Champion will be back in action at Estoril. Casey has also revieled his side of the story, saying that he “was doing something [he] hated”, but also confirmed his return at the Portuguese track.
Stoner will be sitting out his second of three races this weekend as he tries to recover from an alleged unknown illness. In the mean time, Ducati has been hounding the paddock trying to sign other top riders to the team. It’s unclear if this is an attempt to hedge their bets on a possible bugging out Stoner, or if Ducati is seeing the writing on the wall with Nicky Hayden’s possible contract renewal.
Talking about his illness and how it affected his racing, Stoner told MotoSprint about how hard it was to juggle his illness and racing in MotoGP:
“At one point I started having a bad feeling: I felt vulnerable, and I found myself in the position of someone doing something he hates. It’s like finding yourself doing a job you can’t stand, but that you have to do anyway.”
Echoing Suppo’s statement, Stoner confirmed that he would be returning to MotoGP at Estoril, “I haven’t lost my love for bikes and racing,” he said. “And neither for Ducati. My plan is to return to racing as soon as I get my energy back.” Stoner has changed his diet and workout regime, which has reported helped increase his ability to recover from exhaustion.
With the cause of Stoner’s fatigue still uncertainy, it’s still a guess and check afair to helping the Australian recover. When Stoner himself is asked for the cause of his problems, he just likens himself to any other athlete who has pushed themselves too far.
“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 it should.”
Well let you decide on the merits of that argument, but for now it seems assured that Stoner will at least compete again in MotoGP and finish up this season. We’ll have to see how things pan out in the future though, and who exactly will be riding for Ducati Marlboro in 2011.