Casey Stoner: I Miss Racing, But Not Enough To Return

Casey Stoner will not be returning to MotoGP any time soon. In an interview with the Italian magazine Vogue, Stoner said that he wanted to spend more time with his family and experience life outside the paddock.

There has been a constant stream of rumors that Stoner could return to MotoGP almost since the day the Australian hung up his helmet. They have grown in intensity at several points in time, most notably when Honda announced that Stoner would be working for HRC as a test rider in 2013. HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto has made no secret that Honda would welcome the prodigal Australian back with open arms, and credible sources in Spain have reported that much work has been done to make a comeback possible, and to try to persuade Stoner to make a return.

News that Stoner was to attend the Austin round of MotoGP reignited a firestorm of further speculation that he could stage a comeback at some point in the future. That speculation was tempered by the fact that Stoner spent most of the weekend in Seattle, where he watched his friend Ryan Villopoto try to wrap up the 2014 Supercross title. Stoner made it to Austin on Sunday, where he paid a very low-key visit to MotoGP*, catching up with his former teammates.

If Stoner's brief trip to MotoGP was not enough to quash speculation on his return, an interview with the Italian edition of Vogue puts it beyond any doubt. Stoner made it very clear his priorities lie elsewhere. He wanted to spend more time with his family and experience life outside the paddock, he told the magazine. 'I miss some things, some sensations I felt when I was racing, but they're not enough to make me want to come back,' he said to Vogue. Among the things he missed were his team of mechanics, who followed him from Ducati to Honda. They were like his family to him, Stoner told Vogue.

If Stoner were to return, it might be in some form of managerial capacity, or helping young riders. Stoner has always pointed to the difficulties young Australian riders face when trying to break through internationally. The bodies governing Australian motorcycle racing were more of an obstacle than a help, Stoner said. He himself had been forced to leave Australia to pursue his career, moving to the UK to race where the legal age to start roadracing was 14. Stoner's point is borne out by Jack Miller: the current leader in the Moto3 standings also left Australia at a young age, and spent most of his youth racing in Spain and Germany, before entering Moto3.

* One thing Casey Stoner did while visiting Austin was sign some of Scott Jones' fabulous prints of the Australian riding. For more details on how to obtain signed prints, see Scott's website.

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Although I never thought I would say that, it would be interesting to see Stoner in MotoGP, if only to see the contrast between his dour personality and Marquez' infectious smile...

If you prefer the Politician's Smile that MM and 46 have perfected, that's fine, but don't go slanging people just because they don't meet your shallow expectations. Stoner is not 'dour,' he's simply an introvert who sees no point in playing to the cameras.

I like people with exceptional skills who enjoy what they do. I must have a shallow sense of values then… ;-)

I don't think it's fair to lump MM and VR into the same group there. VR obviously puts on the smiles - even when he's not happy, see his face change as soon as the he notices the camera. MM just seems to always be genuinely happy - I guess he has good reason.

Being a huge Stoner fan, I will always wonder how he would match up to Marquez. I like to think he would have the best shot at matching his speed. In that he usually beat Dani and Dani hung in there with Marc at Austin, it stands to reason that Casey would have the best shot at challenging Marc for the win. But, at this point, it's mere conjecture. And time is running out for this question to be answered. A few test sessions here and there won't keep you in race shape. I think if he doesn't come back by the start of the 2015 season, his chances of putting up a fight for the win will have evaporated. Like Kenny Sr. and Eddie Lawson, he isn't the type to race just for the sake of racing. He raced to win. If he doesn't come back soon, he won't be back at all.

i'm not sure if it was the wrong link or if the site hasn't been updated, but is scott selling signed prints from Casey's austin session or just the older ones???

Scott is selling older photos, but he had Stoner sign a bunch of pictures at Austin. The next opportunity to get custom-signed Stoner prints will probably come at Phillip Island.

just did em and i've always wanted one of these prints!!! haha we'll see

As an unrepentant backer of Stoner for many,many years, his presence in Austin is no big deal, nor his statement within the ambit of this titbit. Convergence and Mat Oxley's feed on Marc. Marc's most insane race was in Estoril in 125. You just knew you were watching something special that had naught to do with the bike, much like Casey on any form of 2 wheeled GP kit during his tenure. The pair of them generate a lot of media/fan hype.
The talent is much the same, the riding style and improvisation is not dissimilar, the stature(physically), hardly out of sync.
The big difference between Marc and his erstwhile senior Casey is Marc' s joyous priveledge, having cut his teeth in the mecca of super junior GP racing back home in Spain. Yeah, Casey also competed there living in a caravan shared by...?
That an aside. Where Marc beats Casey hands down is within the confines of his management of the media. Casey called a spade a spade all the time and every time. Marc is strictly business. A lot of fans may see him as the new Valentino. I don't think so. He instinctively manages the media and everything else on his feet. Casey on the other hand had too much emotional involvement.
Behind his dead pan coal black eyes, Marc is the perfect GP Assassin.
I don't think Matt Oxley is far off the mark, when he says Marc is playing with the rest. I got chastised for saying he would cakewalk Austin and the rest of the season. So be it.
Sad thing is we will have to wait a while before we see another Rossi/Stoner/Lorenzo rivalry lighting up the airwaves. Doohan era revisited. Now if Dorna can persuade Marc to race for Ducati next year...Well !!! Like Stoner, Marquez will have his bad luck, dour moments and all. He will probably come out of it better in the press and Shuhei will probably cry a 2nd time in Valencia when his great Stoner replacement retires sooner rather than later.
I don't for one moment believe Marc will submit to the GPC for any longer than it is expedient to do so so within self interest.
I'm not talking about Marquez retiring this year, definitely not. He will want to smash a few more records including the manufacturer switch records. Once that is achieved, the hunger to prove a point will burn out the desire to prove an irrelevant point much like his predecessor, the subject of the topic. Cheers.

Usually the opposite of what' CS says to the press is true, so I look forward to seeing him on the grid next season.

It's good to take the place of a dominate Aussie. Having an example of what is possible helps.

... Doohan retired long before Marquez came.

I don't think we can compare the end of the 500cc era to what we have today, I'm not even sure Marc could have seen much of Doohan because he was only born in 1993, at best he wouldn't really remember what he had seen.

Although he would do a lot worse than follow in Doohan's footsteps. He was a great rider, great man, got on with business and was super successful.

5 titles in 10 years? Great record, up there with the best in history.

Doohan came back from to win all those titles. Doohan was amazing. Though I'm not sure he was the dominant Aussie being referred to. Injury ruined Stoners season in 2012 but his 2011 win was pretty dominant. Even with the injury his numbers vs Pedrosa's during their time as teammates are decidedly lopsided, despite Stoner being hobbled from Indianapolis on.

Can you at least make a wildcard appereance in Philip Island? C'mon dude, dont be an ass, give us what we want :)


Unfortunately I also think Marquez will pulverise the competition, mainly because the other riders cannot change their style. Even if Lorenzo will jump ship to HRC in 2015(I hope it does), I dont see him beating Marquez, just because of his riding style. He, like Rossi and the others are not willing to "forget" their style simply because they have so much faith in it and it worked so well in the past. Only Stoner, and now Marquez are willing to adapt.
Bad news for the guys on the grid, good news for my betting account. Already made 200$ on Austin race alone with Marquez. 1.45 odds for him winning the race? Thats pretty good considering that it was a foregone conclusion that nobody could touch him in Texas. Its like Barcelona a few of years back. Only with much better odds.

I'm so tired of hearing Casey saying he wants more time with his family. I bet a MotoGP star can spend more time with his family than the average Joe can.

I think the real reason is that Casey knows he don't stand a chance against Marc.

I like Stoner's personality. It takes a wide range of sorts of people to make things interesting, otherwise it would feel like a gameshow. The stuff that the media does with our beloved riders is ridiculous, baiting them into saying things and then pulling those out of any accurate context in order to sell "news." I wish Stoner would have told a few journos where to stick it and then stayed, but alas he felt done with the whole shebang when he was sick and exhausted with the undiagnosed lactose intolerance. No, no need to get into a Stoner - Rossi fanboy blah blah blah. It is ALL quite well over considered already.

Furthermore all these riders have expression of personality that isn't limited to their words and mouths. He was VERY expressive with tons of personality on the bike, on the track, and I loved it.

I wish he was here too. And so does pretty much everybody I bet except his immediate family. Again, with Stoner out and Rossi waning we are SUPER lucky to have Marquez around. Enjoy the fishing Casey, you earned it.

Lactose intolerance is a rather common affliction and not so difficult to diagnose. I have never really bought that explanation of Stoner's issues in 2009. Not saying it is beyond the realm of possibility, but color me skeptical.

Nico Terol was diagnosed with exactly the same problem last year. After the diagnosis and treatment, Terol won two races. Late onset lactose intolerance is a rare condition, but not as rare as most people think.

Exactly the reason I have never been convinced that lactose intolerance was really the issue in 2009. Not so rare, not so difficult to diagnose, not difficult to treat. According to press accounts, there were all sorts of doctors, all sorts of tests, the full monty if you will, going on for a number of weeks. It stretches credibility IMO to think lactose intolerance would cause so much mystery and drama.

Stoner's was atypical. Did not primarily affect lower G.I. and started in adulthood. I have a hunch he had a pre-race habit of a smoothie or something w dairy in it (zero info on this other than looking at his acute symptoms in parc ferme).

Stoner said pretty much everything like it is all the time (excepting his attampts w the media at managing the timing of his retirement announcement, which I feel must be respected for a change).

If he had gone to a naturopath he would have likely gotten off of gluten and dairy for elimination but didn't. Oddly for me I have had the reverse, garden variety lactose intolerance that was a real crap shoot as a kid (pun intended), lots of probiotics later it is all but gone as an adult. Lew I can very much see this being overlooked my friend.

You are correct about the smoothies he had. I read his autobiography "Pushing the Limits" and it definitely gives insight into his sickness. It didn't affect him the same way as a lot of people. I am lactose intolerant, just found out last year (age 25). The difference is the way it manifested itself. Mine was similar to food sickness; major stomach pains and sickness. According to him, his was more like making him really exhausted, without the puking and acute pain I’m familiar with.

While intolerance to lactose is very common (I think, the majority of people globally are considered to be lactose intollerant), it isn't so common amongst us Anglos. More uncommon still is the symptoms experienced by Stoner, Terol and myself.

I was sent to countless 'doctors' of a variety of specialists over several years trying to diagnose my illness and sent to a shrink when they all concluded it must be psychological. Eventually I put myself on an elimination diet and found if I excluded dairy I felt great. I've never been formally tested or diagnosed and when I told my doctor, he was like 'glad you're feeling better' . No one ever questioned my self diagnosis, but plenty questioned whether I was really sick, including myself, it just becomes the new normal.
I can only imagine how much harder it is for an elite athlete in that position with 1/2 the world media speculating.
Even *if* it wasn't that, something was wrong with him and it's not our business to speculate further.

As the one posting above that I was "skeptical" about the explanations offered for Stoner's issues in 2009, that personal story you shared is really good to know. It really removes the doubts I had. Thanks.

Strangely enough Stoners main reason for retiring in the first place was to remove himself from the media glare, yet somehow we know he's traveling to COTA prior to the event, and then he regularly gets his head in shots and chats to the journos who he apparently despises.....

Personally I believe he would be well beaten in the current series, as he failed to defend his title on the best bike on the grid in 2012, placing well behind his teammate even. Now with Marc, revitalized Rossi, Jorge and Dani. I think at best at some circuits he would be fighting for a podium. And others coming through, plus some on open bikes currently deserve the factory bike far more anyway, Casey has done what he wanted to do in motogp and retired, coming back now would probably be quite a humbling experience for him and his fans-so better to keep the legend alive.....

Stoner's comeback is a nonsense. He quit because electronics started beating the human rider. Stoner was able to win on Ducati because he turned down the TC and other brands did not have the perfect TC to beat Stoner's wrist. He won because he has the talent to tame the bike, not because he utilized the TC. Remember, when Rossi went to Ducati his first complaint was: The TC is horrible!
But the TC advanced and a rider as Stoner had no chance any more against electronics. This is why he quit, and this is why he will never come back as long as there is TC.
For those who do not know how deep into bike characteristics is the TC nowadays - in first 4 gears the full power of 1000 cc engine is not unleashed, it is limited and out of rider's control, just to keep it "safe". So when accelerating out of a corner this is electronics that control the throttle, not rider.

Go back to the start of the Austin race and watch Rossi's start. By your reckoning, it should be all the electronics and no rider input makes a difference. With all of the wheelie control, traction control and tehelike, spinning should be impossible, right?

How many riders had front tire issues?
I'm fairly aghast at the images of Rossi's front.
Even on the live FS1 broadcast Scott Ru$$ell said he was having a front tire issue.

I suspect Stoner v Marquez will sit in the same never happened box as Doohan v Rossi.

I find curious your need to play down Stoner's ability and achievements.

Anyone who watched Casey's career knows with certainty that he fears no man when it comes to racing a motorcycle. To say otherwise and bring up his lactose intolerance, ignore his injury from his horrific Indy crash in 2012 is simply insulting to the intelligence of the rest of us who were paying attention.

Stoner left because he grew tired of sniveling, speculation and cowardly pot shots from the Peanut Gallery that you both just served up. Casey's talent far surpassed that of the two World Championships he won. I couldn't agree more with the Motoshrink, who wrote, "Enjoy the fishing Casey, you earned it."

- Lance Holst

Respect for achievement is one thing, however as we all know there are a lot of stoner fanboys who like fanciful statements like 'Casey's talent far surpassed the titles that he's won' with the expectation that everyone should just agree with that statement, and if you don't you are somehow insulting intelligence???

Conjecture can be thrown up all day and opinions are varied and wide, not all of us have to believe that Casey Stoner is the best that has ever been or will be, and results are there for all to see. Many riders suffer injuries which prevent results, if we were to apply this logic above then you could certainly say that Dani Pedrosa has been short changed a few titles, or that Rossis injury in 2010 handed Jorge the title etc etc, but for those of us who are paying attention it is clear that no one can state that a riders talent far surpasses their results-otherwise they wouldn't crash and injure themselves pushing beyond their capabilities whilst under pressure and I doubt that cheap shots from keyboard warriors would make a hard headed, focussed and determined professional athlete walk away from a multi million dollar contract to ride the worlds best road racing motorcycle in the premier class of racing, all just opinions though.

If you were a GP rider and were told you could choose any one bike to spend your career chasing title on, which bike would you choose? Not Ducati. Stoners results vs his teammates there, combined with Rossi's amazement at how Stoner was able to ride the red bike after he himself tried it and Stoners astonishment at how good the Honda was when he went there, points to the Ducati not being the optimal bike to challenge for titles on. Especially when you're up against Rossi and Lorenzo riding the most successful bike of the past decade. I think an unbiased person who looked at Stoners numbers at Ducati and Honda might reasonably conclude Stoner may have stood a better chance of winning a third or fourth title had he not spent so much of his career there.

But that is all conjecture, what isn't is that he remains the only rider to have won multiple races and a title on the Ducati, a feat which speaks more about his talent than another title on a factory honda could have given what we saw from various world Champions who rode the same bike.

Who knows how Stoner vs Marquez would have gone, but damn I would have loved to see it.

Sometimes people forget that Ducati was not that unsuccesfull before Stoner came along. In fact he is not the only one that won multiple races on a Ducati.
Capirossi did quite well between 2003 and 2007. He got 7 wins over that period. I know: it doesn't seem that much compared to Stoner, but in 2006, he was leading the championship untill he got tangled up in a nasty accident with Gibernau.

He was the only one to win on it in its 800CC incarnation multiple times in a single season. Multiple world champs tried and couldn't. Capirossi was the only other rider not named Stoner to win on the 800CC Ducati, and that was in the wet at Capirossi's favorite track.

I'm willing to bet Melandri thought the 2008 title was his without a doubt when he signed for Ducati. That was the most epic fall from grace I have ever seen, yet people continued to claim it was the best bike on the grid. How ignorant is that?

I'm still to this day flabbergasted at people who dismiss Stoner's abilities on a motorcycle. People didn't like his personality, boo hoo. It's racing, not a competition to see who can get the most friends on the facetoobs. There's nothing wrong with cheering for a rider because you like the way he smiles at you in a camera, but FFS to slam another rider because they don't fit that mold is pathetic, at best.

Could you imagine if your regular daily job was racing the Ducati? Your were actually winning on the thing and have people telling you how easy your job was. How happy would you be?

Now, think of your actual job. Fixing printers, computers, customer service or what ever you do. Understaffed. Don't have the things you need to get your job done, yet you still do it very well. Now your co-workers, boss, cusomers tell you how easy it must all be. How pleasant would you really be? Even now. He's done, moved on and people still put him down for a job he isn't even doing!

Stoner left because of the media circus, Dorna's constant changing of the rules and the factories picking certain riders while tying other riders hands. (remember Stoner would never have gotten a factory seat from Honda at best his hopes were tied to a satellite team. LCR/Gresini= He would never be world champ and would be Bradl/Bautista)

One of Stoner's last comments was about how he thought RDP and other riders deserved a competitive bike with an opportunity to show their talent fairly against the best of the best.

Will Stoner ever come back? Sure as a Motogp legend. Or promotions at Phillip Island.

Stoner is not coming back, Spies is not coming back. Rossi is never going to win another championship, Pedrosa is not winning another championship and barring injury from Marquez, Jorge is hard pressed.