Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Time For Casey Stoner To Say Goodbye is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.

There’s barely going to be standing room on Phillip Island this weekend.

Advance ticket sales suggest that the crowd will be at least double last year’s and possibly even bigger than the event record, achieved at the very first Australian GP in 1989 when the nation was in the grip of Wayne Gardner fever.

Aussie fans will be turning out in force to say goodbye to Casey Stoner, their first premier-class champ to whom they’ve had the chance to say a proper farewell. Both Gardner and Mick Doohan made hurried exits from bike racing, due to injury. Gardner announced his retirement a few months after missing the 1992 Australian GP due to a broken leg suffered at Suzuka. Doohan announced his retirement not long after missing Phillip Island in 1999 due to injuries sustained at Jerez.

Gardner famously won the first two Australian GPs, in 1990 beating the up-and-coming Doohan who later accused his compatriot of running him off the track at 190mph, an accusation Gardner vehemently denies. The pair never got on because they are such different characters. Gardner channelled all of his emotion into racing, while Doohan channelled all his emotion out of racing. Gardner wanted to win at home more than anything in the world, Doohan insisted his home GP was just another race.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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When I first read the heading of this post I misread "Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: Time For Casey Stoner To Slay Goodbye"
Am I projecting much on how I'm looking forward to his last ride at Phillip's Island? Motivation for him may be off the charts.

MO: "chatter problems are less troublesome in left-handers"

Two observations:

1. It's amazing how delicate the bike/tire combinations are to weight balance and chassis stiffness so much so that it leads to chatter varying between left & right corners.

2. Seems like this would be a nice substitute for Nakamoto-san to obsess over rather than packing a Cray supercomputer into an ECU.

Dorna drove Casey out of Grand Prix racing, personally, I will never forget that Bridgestone, as Dorna's henchmen, ruined what could have been a brilliant final season for Stoner. They turned their backs on the rider who brought them their 1st MotoGP championship in a time when there was real competition for tire-makers, shameful.
Good fortune to Casey Stoner in his retirement.

My first m/c hero was Cal Rayborn (for those that do not recognize that name, google him) and I've been following road racing ever since.....from Dick Mann at Daytona, the Transatlantic Matches to Roberts heading to Europe, Spencer and all the Americans in first watching a young kid named Rossi on 125's. I was stranding 15' away, in the pits at Laguna Seca, when Spencer's mechanic was warming up his oval pistons/32 valve 500cc 'sewing machine', but I've never ever seen anyone ride a bike like Stoner! His body position on the bike is different then anyone else racing. He is simply 'magical' on a GP bike! Attitude? In a society where everyone is PC and scared to death at offending anyone, Casey says what he thinks and feels and to hell what someone thinks. I appreciate that!

Casey, I will miss you and so will RACING!!

Enjoy your life!

BTW Casey, you I want to go fly fishing for salmon & steelhead, in the very northern part of me! I can send you a recent pic of me and a 25# king that I caught on a 8 wt rod! We'll have fun!

David - There are many of us Brits who are dismayed at the way our compatriots behaved towards Casey. Could you get a message to him that he was inspired racer, stunning to watch and will be sorely missed.
Chris Hotblack - a British fan

I'm really looking forward to seeing just how many there are at the track at PI this year. It's a big, wide open circuit that is quite impossible to 'sell out' as there are a lot of large expanses of grassed areas to watch from. I've been there in crowds of approx 50-70k over the years but somehow I think you are going to have to be real early bird this year, camp on the fence, and stay there if you want a ringside seat (and can't afford the huge $ ticket prices for a grandstand seat) they are predicting up around 90-100k people on Sunday and it will be mad and awesome.

Injury or not, Casey will be putting his whole body and soul into winning here again, and I think he can definitely get over the line 1st. GO CASEY!

Please. The kid is a brilliant rider, but his heart isn't in it anymore.
Two weeks ago I went to a vintage motorcycle festival and races in Birmingham Alabama. There were at least 80,000 people there. I watched some of my fovorite racers as a kid like Gene Romero riding vintage racing tridents. And we got to take 4 hard laps around the track for a mere 30$.
If Motogp wants to learn how to increase its interest, I suggest they emulate Barber motorsports park.

I've seen them all over the years. Casey has a unique style, but that has as much to do with body size and weight. , Most of the skill he has is all about throttle control --which you can't see. Marco had a unique and aggressive riding style. I loved it, I loved his nerve, and I loved the non passive aggressive way he spoke. He truly said it like he saw it. His death was an enormous loss to the Motogp world.
Casey is a really polarizing person. He may complain his comments are out of context, but who you see him make them, it doesn't help him at all.