Casey Stoner announces intention to retire at end of 2012 season

Cites changes to sport and lack of enjoyment as main reasons for leaving

In an absolute shock announcement that left the press corp at Le Mans dumbfounded, Casey Stoner announced that he will retire at the end of this season from racing. Stoner reportedly cited the numerous changes occurring in MotoGP and a resulting lack of enjoyment as the primary reasons for leaving the sport. The two-time World Champion’s departure is causing shock waves across the paddock, especially since he is leaving while at the top of the pinnacle of motorcycle roadracing.

“Basically, this has come after a long time of thinking, a lot of time talking with my family and my wife, and this has been coming for a couple of years now,” said Stoner to the assembled press. “At the end of this 2012 season, I will not be 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.

“After so many years of doing this sport which I love, which myself, 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’s changed to the point where I’m not enjoying it. I don’t have the passion for it. And so at this time, it’s better if I retire now.”

“There’s a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things that I’ve loved about this sport. But unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction, and so, yeah, basically we won’t be continuing any more. You know it’d be nice if I could say that I was going to stay just one more year, but then when does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.

“No matter what we’ve done before the end of this season, making all the decisions, it’s not going to change anything for this season. I’m still going to put every bit of effort that we can. We still want to win races, we still want to have some great races with these riders alongside me. We’ll still put 110% effort and maybe even more.”

Besides his obvious dislike of the CRT inclusion into MotoGP, Stoner cited the continued negative press as one of the reasons for his decision to retire, noting a continued lack of faith in his commitment, including that some are still clinging to his sabbatical from racing during the 2009 season due to lactose intolerance as a “mystery illness”. Stoner also denied that the recent birth of his first child was a reason for the decision to retire.