Marlboro Boss - "Stoner Should Apologize"

Ever since news broke that Casey Stoner would miss three MotoGP rounds to recover from the mystery illness which has laid the Australian low, rumors that the move has raised the ire of both Marlboro and Ducati have raged around the paddock and the internet. Ducati have publicly expressed their support for Stoner, professing their understanding of his situation, and doing their best to suppress any impression of dissent within their ranks, at least in public.

While Ducati have publicly stood by their rider, little has been heard from Marlboro, the people who pay Stoner's wages. Until now, that is: Maurizio Arrivabene, the most senior figure inside Philip Morris' motorsports sponsoring arm expressed his irritation at Stoner's decision. Speaking at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix - Arrivabene is also responsible for the Marlboro sponsorship of the Ferrari F1 team - the Marlboro boss was damning of Stoner's absence. According to Italian media company Sportmediaset, Arrivabene feels an apolology is in order: "I hope Stoner has the decency to apologize to the team in Portugal," Arrivabene said.

Marlboro have taken Stoner's absence very badly, Sportmediaset is reporting. To quote the Italian website, "there are many of Ducati's Borgo Panigale employees who wouldn't stay at home with a stomach ache, especially in times of economic crisis."

Marlboro's discontent does not mean that Stoner would be dropped by the team. Arrivabene reaffirmed that the Australian would be riding for Ducati again in 2010. And despite the rumors flying in the Italian media, the Marlboro boss also took the opportunity to deny that any deal had been reached with Valentino Rossi to make the switch to Ducati. Rossi has recently dropped hints that he could be amenable to a Ducati approach, but so far, contact has been restricted to mutual expressions of admiration, and nothing more. 

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So has Marlboro thanked Casey for wining and giving the sponsor so much tv time?? they could not afford to buy the tv and media coverage that casey has given them.
There just pissed that when casey was gone they got no tv time.

Every time I read a quote like this from the media I find it hard to believe such stupid things are said by people who are by all respects extremely successful people. Is there something lost in translation or what else was said. I'm going to do my best to ignore sound bite quote-stories from now on. I don't have any problem believing someone in his position could say something like this. But it seems that every day some major figure is saying something ridiculous similar to this. Sure it's entertaining and these people aren't national leaders, but is it anywhere close to the true sentiment held.

I took two months off work for an illness a couple of years ago, I work for one of the largest companies of its type in the world, and at no point was I ever expected to 'apologise' for getting sick.

I think more than anything, that this simply shows what a bizarre and unrealistic world these people live in...

Only Stoner and Ducati/Marlboro know what has passed between them during this -- e.g. communication or lack of it. Enough rumor has come out to suspect that Stoner, as an employee, could have behaved more professionally. Which I don't find surprising -- my impression of Stoner is that he's more youth than man, so not quite mature in that sense.

But from what's reported here Arrivabene comes off as an asshole.

And I agree it is a question of who needs whom more. If Marlboro is peeved it is probably due both to Stoner's lack of professionalism, as well as the fact that he's the only guy who can consistently put a Ducati on pole or on the podium -- when Stoner's missing, the Ducati/Marlboro package is just another also-ran. So this outburst shows a lack of tact at Marlboro too.

Stoner doesn't demean Marlboro publicly, Marlboro should not demean Stoner publicly. If they've got problems they can discuss it privately. Arrivabene is being a jerkoff b/c he can't get a hold of Stoner.

Hey, Arrivabene just saddle up that Duc and go for it yourself?. Some of these high rollin $hitheads need to be put in the saddle to understand.

Maybe Mr Arrivabene takes his public anouncement gaffe cues from the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. Either that or those 101 carcinogenic additives in a Malboro light have addled his brain.

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast

It's all pretty easy for him to say when he doesn't have to do the hard yards himself.
Sounds to me like the English translation of "Arrivabene" is "ignorant jerk".

the problem is with his statement. from all reports, stoner "left the building" without so much as a post it note on the mirror. judging from the reaction of marlboro and ducati, something odd happened. you don't see teams reacting like this when a rider is hurt or has a logical medical excuse. it's apparent that stoner is not shooting straight- otherwise ducati (most likely at the urging of marlboro) wouldn't have made such grandiose offers to 2 of the present fab 4.

whatever casey's reason is, it's apparently not good enough, and he didn't exactly deliver the excuse in the correct manner. i agree with Arrivabene and stoner owes the team an apology.

I think that's the nub of it, there appears to be a lack of communication, for whatever reason.

Others may suggest that it is entirely normal for a rider to communicate entirely with their team via their manager, but to me it seems to indicate that something just isn't correct. It may be that Suppo is a jerk and that Casey is at his wits end, but I think that anyone who is being paid several million $$ a year to ride a motorcycle would do well to communicate well with their employer.

Stoner may be a totally awesome rider, but teams will only tolerate so much before they go looking for the next big thing.

What I have never understood is how Stoner, after achieving his apparent life goal of riding in Motogp is so totally unprepared for the media and personality commitments that competing in Motogp requires. It's not as if this would have been a surprise to him, after all, since the late 90's the media focus has been a increasing theme in the top flight.

One of the things that people look for is an overall package and there is no point (for a sponsor) to have a really successful rider that you can't market. And like it or not, Marlboro are not in it for the sport, they want brand awareness and marketing leverage of their million dollar investment. A rider who doesn't want to be there, someone who does the barest minimum, isn't an asset for a sponsor, especially if they are not consistently winning. Much better to have a rider who comes 3rd and who does all your marketing stuff for you than a rider who wins occasionally and then makes a fuss about the commitments they have to endure.

This is the end result of the glamour and the prestige that Motogp chases. If you want to be like F1, you have to do the marketing like F1. If you want to ride in a lesser series, take a smaller pay cheque, but still want to race against really good riders, do WSBK, BSB or another national series.

You take your money and you make your choices. It's as simple as that. And Stoner, when he left LCR, was 3rd choice for Ducati and wanted by no-one other than LCR. I think he and Ducati have a lot to thank each other for, no matter what they currently think.

Stoner owes them f*** all. The guy is a genius on motorcycle, at worst he is the 2nd or 3rd best rider in the world. He rode while past his maximum on a number of ocassions, it made him sicker... Plain and simple. "sorry I busted my ass so hard for you ingratful pricks" is all he should say. How about an apology for all the bulls**t that people have put Stoner through?

Phantom, I hear ya. When someone gets sick at work, and NEED to take time off just to feel better, he doesn't have to apologize to no one.

Seems like this Marlboro official just lost his marbles. Like Suppo.

They both need to go.

You know i have been through alot of websites and listened to all the different opinions on Stoner...Was he sick...Was he faking it...He is sick of Ducati...Sponsors saying he should apologise...People bagging him saying he is not a real champion..He has no media savvy...He's a whinger..He is this ,He is that...Apparently he started the Iraq war as well...The bottom line is,who really knows what went on there ? I think the only people who really know what happened is Stoner and Ducati..If this Marlboro boss did say he needs to appologise then he is full of himself..Casey has nothing to be sorry for...He is the only man who can ride that wild animal to it's limits...Maybe he is not comfortable with the cameras and all the public speaking..Not everyone is a Valentino Rossi..Any one remember Eddy Lawson ? He hated being in front of cameras..He just wanted to race motorcycles...How anyone could say he wasn't ill after seeing him on that podium and after he threw up in his helmet is beyond me..As a big fan of Motorcycle racing i just hope that Casey comes back fit and strong and gets that Red Monster back up the front of the grid..Even Valentino wants him back..The sport is a better spectacle when he is there..Someone to take it up to the Japanese domination..As for Stoner owes Marlboro ? He owes them nothing..They get more airtime from him than any other Ducati rider so if i were them i would be a little more understanding...Come back Casey..We need you on the grid

Marlboro seem to be getting more brand awareness from the rumour mill and stupid comments than the Ducati riders left on the grid for the last 3 rounds...provocative marketing perhaps?

Professionally speaking, ANY rider should be protected from flippant/dumba$$ comments from a sponsor by their team.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong (I might well be...) but aren't riders employed by the bike manufacturer, NOT by a manufacturer's sponsor?

Other than a vested financial interest within the team performing well, what business has this guy got to slag off a rider personally?

If that is the case, surely Randy DePuniet should apologise to Hugh Hefner for crashing so much, or James Toseland should apologise to the BBC for not performing as well as everyone had hoped?

The bottom line is that Marlboro man = goon.

Without Sponsors, bike manufacturers cannot afford to race in this day and age.

Riders are not children. They are like movie stars. They make a lot of money. They are on ads, TV, magazines. People see them. People talk about them. This is how the world works. Promote, sell, profit. If Stoner doesn't like it quit. Many other riders are willing to do it.

Companies want to profit so they don't go bankrupt and have to layoff everyone. Get it? Lay offs are bad. Get it.

I dare you to take 2 months off your job and don't tell anyone. You will get no sympathies from your coworkers because they will have to pick up your slack. You employer will be wondering why they should pay your income and benefits when you aren't working and have given no reason.

Get it??? Stoner is an employee. Employees work for their employer to help the employer make money. In return, the employee gets paid some money. In Stoner case, he gets over $1 million (euro equivalent). But, Stoner stopped working 2 months ago with no reason ... just disappeared and went home.

You want the world to give SToner a gold mansion and for the world to make him a god?

Guess what, your crazy. Because that makes no sense at all but you believe it.

you are wrong. riders are employed by both the factory and the sponsor. in many cases, the factory will choose one rider, and the sponsor the other. do you think the little factory from bologna can pay millions for bike development and rider salaries without marlboro money? considering that marlboro pays for probably 75% of ducati corse's racing budget (including salary), i think that the marlboro man has every right to vocalize his feelings, right or wrong.

maybe casey should consider altering his "candy diet". j/k...

Of course I'm right. Might (and money) = Right.

P.S. This website is very anti-free speech. Not only does the guy feel the right to censor and erase legitimate comments. But he practices favoritism of posters and racism. I'm sure he will read and delete this post and ban the ip but that is irrelevent.

The fact is this website guy has serious racist issues. Probably a nazi.

Half of the comments on this story are your ranting, accusatory, rude, redundant and insulting diatribes. We get your point: you don't like stoner. Please stop posting the same thing over and over.

That said, ""there are many of Ducati's Borgo Panigale employees who wouldn't stay at home with a stomach ache, especially in times of economic crisis.""

Hah, right. Why don't you put some leathers on any one of those employees and put him on the bike when he's sick (be it mental or physical/both ailments that Stoner has), then see if there's a comparison.

I've cleaned up the poster's comments. I've left one comment (after all, he was making the same point over and over again), which in my opinion best and most cogently reflects his - perfectly valid - opinion. It was the one in which he ranted least. It's a shame, because as the remaining comment shows, he was perfectly capable of producing coherent thoughts, he just decided against it.