In a shocking turn of events, Casey Stoner announced at the Thursday press conference for the French GP that he would be retiring at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season. The news is a turn of events, as the Australian denied such rumors at Estoril, saying he would quit motorcycle racing when he no longer enjoyed it, though not any time soon.

Citing his disappointed with the direction MotoGP is currently headed, Stoner main critique with premier-class motorcycle racing has been the introduction of the CRT rules, which use production-based motors in prototype chassis, and have been notably slower than the full-prototype machines.

Stoner first voiced the idea of his retirement over the CRT issue back in Valencia of last year, when the newly crowned World Champion stated that if the future of the MotoGP Championship was in the CRT formula, then it was a future he did not want to be a part of. Today’s announcement seems to make good on that statement.

“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. I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP, and go forward in different things in my life,” said Stoner during the press conference.

“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. I don’t have the passion for it and so at this time it’s better if I retire now.

“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. 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.”

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Craig

    You know… part of me says “if you are a racer, then you’ll race anything as long as there is challenge. Why not CRT’s for instance? If everyone has one, then what’s the difference?

    But I know there are others , for instance, Matt Mladin who would never ride a 600 as that did not challenge him… so I guess I will give it to Casey and say… if you are not going to be happy, then don’t do it. Go home; do what you like and thank you for riding the holy CRAP out of everything you rode.

    We’ll miss you and so will Ducati.

  • loki

    @ Craig – you’ve taken the words out of my mouth. Exactly my feeling as well. As for the Ducati part, you can say it again. I’m sure the Bologna house was somehow nourishing the dream of seeing him in red again.

  • Spectre

    If you’re confident in your ability to ride the fastest machines on Earth quicker than anyone else, and then your sport reliquinshes the ability for them to be the fastest machines any more, I can see how this would frustrate Casey and perhaps end his interest.

    Over the last year I’ve become more convinced that he is probably the fastest rider on the planet, battling Rossi consistently on a Ducati no one else got on with, constantly eeking out speed and lap times no one else can manage.

    Riders get jobs for their speed, not their paddock charisma, but there’s plenty of far less interesting riders than Casey, and at least he’s willing to speak out and be blunt and honest, every time. His girlfriend appears to have sat tirelessly in the pits at every race possible, and now with a farm and a daughter on the cards and nothing left to prove, good for him I say.

  • the lawyer

    Rossi will be on a Honda again!

  • Ken C.

    2013 just got a whole lot more interesting.

  • Jim

    Go ahead and leave then. You don’t really enjoy the sport, it’s just a job for you.

    You are not a true enthusiast.

  • BBQdog

    A sensible decision. Nice wife and kid, farm, money on the bank. He still got his health. He witnessed what happened to Tomisawa and especially Simoncelli. He has proven to be a very fast rider, probarbly more talented then Rossi. Not much more to prove and gain.

  • Glenn Plummer

    Right! What was it last time. Oh, We’re not going to Japan, No way No how. If he even leaves Casey will be back. Racing is an addiction that can’t easily be filled with anything else. I don’t think fishing off his private dock will do it.

  • pat walker

    Why not CRT’s for instance? If everyone has one, then what’s the difference?

    To me the top class in racing should be works prototype bikes.
    I would rather see a race between 3 NR500’s than a field full
    of street bike powered bimota’s.

    I hope that ezpalta guy wakes the f’k up and does away with traction control.

  • evilive27

    Better to leave a year too soon then a year too late… ie ROSSI

  • AlexOnTwoWheels

    I smell the staging of an epic comeback! Stoner will get bored being a civilian. Maybe he’ll race cars. but i imagine he’ll be back.

  • Adam

    Stoner doesn’t like the way the series has changed? I don’t like how it has changed either, fewer and fewer prototypes filling the grid each year sucks. But this is due mainly to the factories, its too bad Casey is up set by this, but I think it is a little childish to criticize and not play with the other kids. his talent will be missed but his constant complaining wont. Honda will have the rookie rule lifted for next year and his set will be filled by Marques and the show will go on with out him.

  • J.P. Kelly

    Is that a collective sigh of relief from Pedrosa fans I hear??

  • motogpdr

    have worked with and known casey and parents since his days in 125 class…..not the least bit surprised of this announcement….he never really has enjoyed being in the spotlight and doesnt enjoy the lifestyle…..just wanted to race….nothing more…but he is retieing wealthy, young and healthy. I personally won’t miss him…i look foreard to someone who will take his place who actually enjoys what they do

  • Glenn Plummer

    Evilive27, Stoner is still a young man and can win championships for many years to come. He was a fast hungry kid when he lucked into the Ducati job. He road what Corse put under him and worked around any flaws the bike might have had ’cause he didn’t know any better. They clicked. Rossi is unarguably one of the best test riders we’ve ever seen. At Yamaha he took a non winning dog and turned it into a championship bike. The changes he made at Honda are still used today. Ducati conned Rossi into thinking his craft would be used to change their luck. The wonder boy engineer at Ducati had his own ideas and Rossi wasn’t allowed to perform his magic. Remember Rossi changed engine configuration, new chasis’ and electronics on the Honda and Yamaha. He’s been completely frustrated with Ducati because they keep trying to build the next great breakthrough and forcing The Doctor to race their hair brained test bed. On a proper motorcycle Rossi would be still fighting at the front.

  • Westward

    @ Glenn Plummer

    Wow, spot on…

    Stoner is undoubtedly talented and one of the best, and as a Ducatisti, I am gratefully for all he has accomplished for Ducati. I wish him the best, but the selfish part of me want to see him on that Honda race against Rossi on a competitive machine (like Spies’s Yamaha M1, or Pedrosa’s or Bautista’s RC213V)…

  • Glenn Plummer

    Wright on Westward. Think of Honda’s savings in destroyed equipment if they boot Pedrosa for Rossi. Casey could leave a big question mark in Moto GP. Just the pure Brinksmanship between Stoner, Alonso and Rossi would be epic.

  • david

    are you kidding plummer? once again, rossi didn’t build anything. all a rider can do is offer accurate feedback, engineers make the bikes. when rossi joined yamaha, they developed 3 different engine configurations to test(birth of the long bang), completely new engineering staff, new head honcho,etc. you would offer the engineers no credit, and act like rossi built the bike, not yamaha. they hired rossi to win races, same as ducati. stoner proved more adept in that department.

  • Glenn Plummer

    Please David, the Japanese always bring in the next engineer (fodder) to save face when things are bad. The new goy just follows the company’s vague orders to succeed. With the never give up worker Bee Asian attitude they have come up with some great innovations and lot of failures too. They are famous for stuberness and lossing their way. Honda was until the mid 90’s fixing the steering tube angle and swing arm position for their number one test rider in Japan, all the while the bike was unridable in competition.
    With a Bautista or Espargaro you would have many more engines and chasis,with maybe no solution. An engineer needs direction. Rossi and Jeremy Burgess have a way of conveying to the engineer what is happening and solutions to contribute. Rossi would burn tires up and TC would only slow him down and still he had to almost finish a corner before getting back on throttle. It was these two guys that suggested that by staggering the power pulse it might let the tire have time to grip and cool. with this educated idea the engineering solution became cross plane. And when these guys succeed and prove it they move on to their next challange.

  • Polfrey

    Oh dear, motorcycle racing has lost another winging Aussie. “we don’t like change here…”

  • Ryan

    Hahaha that’s a great view of engineering, Glenn. I’m surprised you don’t believe that Rossi actually assembled and welded the bike as well.

  • Glenn Plummer

    Not at all Ryan. When I recieved a patent for an Oxygen fire proof, flat cable clamp for space vehicles, A machinist built the progressive dies and punches. When a test pilot suggested that maybe the amps pushed thru the flat cable at the connection point was igniting oxygen, it was an idea from an educated person. But he didn’t build anything either. I might have searched for a fault condition for some time. The pilot had been on the business end putting two and two together for years. Rediculous, the plug passed hundreds of tests and a clamp over insulated wire, really. The highly polished die left microscopic burrs on the clamp ,witch turned red hot. Solution: Laser cut clamp, no burrs, no ignition. A lesser pilot could not convey what he thought, felt or observed. But this guy gets paid the big bucks ’cause he can be upside down at mach 1 and analyse and make it understandable. A machinist cuts the gears and the engineer knows how to stack them, but it takes a Rossi to add insight witch in turn nets another three tenths.

  • irksome

    A prototype class can only get more expensive. Kawasaki is gone, Suzuki just left, Ducati is a small factory and Yamaha has struggled to find sponsorship. Sadly, since the electronics and traction control packages are starting to find their way into production bikes, there’ll be no cost cutting by eliminating them; the only logical conclusion is to either have a Honda factory team and a bunch of privateer teams with some factory support fighting for 3rd place behind them or to change the class altogether. For the factories, a production-based motor in a prototype frame (CRT) is the only way to go forward.

    Mladin left AMA racing because he didn’t like the changes taking place and now AMA racing, along with WSB, is among the most competitive and enjoyable motorsport available today. I’m sorry if Stoner doesn’t think losing a few seconds a lap will be worth his while but I would like to see him try his hand on a 500cc two-stroke where the only traction control is in his analog right wrist.

  • Westward

    I agree with stoner 100% when it comes to CRT’s. Whats the point of racing, if in reality you are only racing two other guys…

    Three things makes a champion; a competitive machine, the right choice of tire, and most importantly the pilot…

    BTW, whats AMA?

    Amazing Moto2 Action…

  • irksome

    Westward: AMA is like BSB only the riders speak English…

  • Westward

    @ irksome

    You mean CRS? Cockney ain’t inglish guv’na… = )

  • ben

    LOL Plummer, Rossi one of the best Test Riders ? And please, blowing your own trumpet on aerospace engineering, I couldn’t stop yawning… Rossi sure couldn’t make the Ducati win. And still wont unless it rains and everyone else falls over. It takes a good test rider to point out the faults of a machine, but it takes a GREAT rider to overcome those faults and ride it and win on it regardless. I think that question mark has been answered well and truly in the last 18 months.

  • There are some attention-grabbing time limits in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There’s some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as well