Casey Stoner Denies Retirement Rumors: "Don't Believe What You Read In The Press"

Casey Stoner has moved to quash rumors of his retirement which appeared in the Spanish press after Jerez. He would continue competing in MotoGP for as long as he still enjoyed the racing, and right now, he was still having fun, he said after the pre-event press conference for the Estoril MotoGP round. When he stopped having fun, he would retire, but that moment had not yet been reached, he said.

The rumors of his retirement which had emerged had irritated the reigning World Champion, and he had a few sharp comments for the media who made them. Asked by one journalist what he meant when he said he intended to continue racing for a few more years, Stoner retorted "I was basically saying, don't listen to what you read in the press. Don't read what you produce." Stoner compared it to rumors that appeared after he took time off from racing while suffering with lactose intolerance, which also claimed he was ready to walk away from racing. "This was the same thing as a few years ago, I spent one race out because I was not capable of racing, but everyone said I was retiring during this period. So this is just another one to start with the rumors, but it has no fact."

But where had the rumors come from, Stoner was asked? "I have no idea to be honest," the Australian replied. "It's a little bit frustrating, I've spoken about it this year and last year, that I'm not going to be racing forever, and that I will be retiring in the not-too-distant future for sure, but the fact that everyone's picked this up and just run with it, I don't know if somebody's just started to talk and just started to mouth things off and somebody's believed it. But everybody's good at producing stories in this championship, I'm surprised anyone believes anything, really. Until you hear it out of the horse's mouth, there's just so many rumors going around permanently."

Stoner denied that this was a ploy to more pressure on Honda to increase his salary, claiming it was more likely aimed at him. "It's probably somebody else trying to put more pressure on me, trying to create more drama that I have to deal with, it could be anybody really. It's quite funny again."

Do you think you will know when it's time to retire?

"I think I'll know when it's time," Stoner said. "I am actually going to stick to my word, I'm going to retire when I stop enjoying racing. There's so many people that say that but you see them retire a lot later and you know they haven't been enjoying racing for a while. The money keeps people here, they're making money, they've got the lifestyle, but I'm not in it for the money, I'm not in it for the lifestyle, I'm in it for racing. When I do stop enjoying it, I will hang up the leathers and go home."

And you're still enjoying it?

"At the moment, yes. I mean, results are good, so ..." Stoner joked. "But in general, I still enjoy it, it gets tough sometimes, but I still love my racing."

Would the impending rule changes aimed at reducing costs and trying to increase the show persuade him to quite, Stoner was asked? 

"This would convince me," Stoner was emphatic, before returning to a theme he has talked about before. "They've got to stop changing the rules. Even this thing, that Jeremy Burgess suggested, that 600cc would be better. How would 600cc be the best way forward? Honestly? It would make it even more expensive trying to eke every little bit of power out of it and it's just going to be the same problem." The answer to improving the races was simple, he said. "Just leave it at 1000cc. Just leave it. Don't change the rules. Give us a couple more liters of fuel. Don't change those rules. Keep the weight limit, and don't change those rules. It's so simple just to make a championship, and that would create racing. Simple as that. But no, they have to keep changing the rules to make sure the sport is spicy enough, but they don't realize that the riders will make the difference when everything's left alone."

Right now, Stoner explained, he was working on signing contracts on a year-by-year basis, which would give him the greatest freedom and flexibility. Signing year-by-year was the best thing for him, he explained, "unless you have a bad year, and then you're in trouble! But honestly, year by year is probably going to be the best thing, and that'll be the best way forward. It's a little bit more freedom." He confirmed that he already had an offer from Honda, and that they had been talking about this for a while. "They started this pretty much last year, so this is normal. After what we did together, and everything last year, of course they were going to get me for 2013 when the contract is up, so there's lots of things going on, to be honest."

So would Stoner continue for one more year? Two more years? "I don't know yet. It's until I stop racing, and until my wife and I decide, you know, enough's enough. It's not now."

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Well that makes everything perfectly unclear.

I don't think anyone was suggesting that he was going to retire now as in this minute, week, month.

So it really could turn out that at the end of this year he will feel done. He does sound quite positive about 2013 but the paper is not yet signed. If I was the Honda negotiator I would be feeling some pressure to get him signed.

I thought it was perfectly clear... he doesn't know, so therefore he can't say when.

He will retire when he stops enjoying racing, which by how annoyed he is with the media circus that surrounds MotoGP, sounds like he may be one step closer to.

The most telling line is the first "...rumors of his retirement which appeared in the Spanish press after Jerez".

I think the rumors are more wishful thinking on the part of the Spanish press... no Casey Stoner means nobody there to kick Jorge and Dani's arses :)

'Just leave it' as Casey said. I had my rant about the 600cc Moto 2 a few moments back on another thread on this brilliant site. Kudo's David.

I agree a one year deal puts Casey in the strongest position to push back on the rule changes slated for 2014.

But any chance he'll decide to move to Yamaha after his next contract, and go for championships with three different marques? He's not interested in beating Mick's record with Honda, and he'd have bragging rights over Vale...

... now THAT would be something! Nobody has done that as far as I know in the premier class.

I can't imagine Honda letting him walk, I think they learned a lesson there, but who knows... circumstances certainly do find a way to get turned on their head.

He just have to win the title 6 more times to get the bragging rights over Rossi...

Who will care about what bike he was riding? Or do you think that Casey done a better job than Doohan because he won 2 times on different brands and Doohan 5 times on the same?

Honestly, it's getting really out of hand now. And, I never thought I'd be agreeing with Casey Stoner, but he's right, just leave the formula alone. Don't agree with giving the couple of extra litre's (won't happen anyway). But essentially, yeah, just leave it alone.

More fuel would allow the reliance on electronics to be reduced, as fuel consumption becomes less critical. More fuel, less electronics and lower revs, and CRTs start to become more competitive.

Stoner is right. It's about the riders ultimately. It always was. Changing rules usually helps the competitor with the biggest budget and dulls the racing.

Remember last year? People thought the Suzuki was terrible and hence Bautista never managed to challenge for a podium really. Now he is on a Honda, pretty much factory spec. And he is still in the same place. Maybe the Suzuki wasn't that bad after all.

Remember 2 years ago? Sic was on a satellite spec Honda while his teammate Melandri was on a factory spec Honda. Sic was a rookie and Melandri a former MotoGP race winner. Yet Sic outperformed Melandri, because he was the better rider quite simply.

Imho messing with the formula is a bad idea. They should rather think about ways to get more good riders.


100% right, that would really be something, the only person who's even got close to that statistic is Eddie Lawson who won consecutive championships on Yamaha and Honda then went to Gagiva and won a race on that bike (more by good luck than anything else..but he still did it).

If Stoner went to Yamaha and won the championship for them it would be absolutely unprecedented.

There would be no doubt he'd be the best of the best

To be honest, is this any different to Doohan, Bayliss, Corser, Gardner, West or any other Australian? It is called "telling it like it is". Seems to get us into all sorts of trouble.

I didn't include Burgess. He's from South Australia. Different. Ha Ha.

So, the guy who is the favorite to win doesn't want to retire or to change the rules. Thanks for the news update!

However...having read it in the press I simply don't believe it!

He's obviously not going to retire after this season, but I still believe it's interesting to hear his thinking. Even if his comments are sometimes contradictory, Stoner is more candid than anyone else bar Colin Edwards, and that is to be appreciated.

I don't think the MotoGP travel schedule is terribly arduous for someone largely based in Europe like Stoner. Most of the racing is in Europe, from Switzerland it's a few hours in a plane to anywhere, the non-European rounds are fairly minimal, and the off-season is long.

But there is another aspect to consider. I lived overseas for nearly a decade and now reside back in my home country, and it does mess you up a bit. You make connections in the new country that you end up having to sever. You've got friends, kids in school etc. I'm back in my country of origin permanently but every day I'm pining in some way for the other country. The difference for Stoner is that financially he should be set for life. He'll have enough money to be able to set up back in Australia but keep a residence in Switzerland and go back to Europe more or less whenever he wants.

Based on my own experience, and the feeling that I'm of a similar temperament to Stoner (though nowhere near the talent!), I'd say if he retires too soon he's at risk of moving back to Australia and finding out he's outgrown it and/or it's not really what he wants after all. I hope he stays in the sport long enough to equal Mick Doohan's achievements and maybe put a dent in Rossi's as well, but I'm not naive enough to think that he definitely will.

Home-grown it may be but it is basically an Australian version of Nascar or an extremely dumbed-down touring car championship. More or less a single-make series, obsolete pushrod two-valve engines, different brands but the same capacity (5.0 litres), pretty much converged chassis, same running gear, near-identical styling. A sport where international brands like Nissan were run out of town because of their clever harnessing of the latest automotive technology, and because the Australian redneck spectatorship just wanted Holdens and Fords with big loud motors. A sport that really encapsulates Australian insularity and parochial attitudes at their worst.

Stoner is at the pinnacle of a classy category of motor racing that requires great finesse. He is a joy to watch on a bike and I'd hate to see him chuck that away prematurely for the yobbo sport of barging around a track in a tin box with a big donk up front.

I'm surprised this story here. We're more used to denigrating certain entries in the comment section, but in this case it's the story that belongs on a certain other website.