Casey Stoner: "I've Lost A Lot Of Respect For Schwantz"

Casey Stoner returned to the MotoGP paddock at Estoril amidst a blaze of the publicity he so obviously loathes. The eyes of the motorcycle racing world were upon him, and the question was just how would he hold up once he got back on the bike?

The answer was emphatic: remarkably well, actually. The 2007 MotoGP World Champion taking a podium at his first attempt, comfortably beating both Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, and only a broken footpeg preventing him from running with Jorge Lorenzo and challenging for victory. After the race, Stoner spoke to the press about the race, his time away, and some of the criticism he has faced, and as so often, he had some fairly pithy things to say about the press and his critics. A transcript of what he said follows below:

Q: You said yesterday after practice, you knew the problem was gone. Was there no point in the race that you worried?

Casey Stoner: No, because this morning in warmup I went out and did some laps, and because it had been so consistent over the past five races, in my head I knew that I was going to get to that point and go, OK that's it, I'm buggered again, I have to come in. And then I felt just that little bit of tiredness come on, but it didn't increase. So I was just like, that's it, it's gone, it's finished, and so we continued through the warm up competitively, and still set my quickest lap at the end and we knew we were rid of it then.

For the race, we knew it as going to be difficult, my arms have been hurting all weekend. Trying to get back into race mode and still have all these problems with my arms, it's not the best. But I think at the end of the race, whether I had the problems with arms or not, Jorge was just slowly pulling away, a little bit too much from me. I think in the early stages of the race I should have put up a little bit more of a fight, but like I said I snapped the footrest on the 2nd lap of the race. It really made some problems, some laps when I was catching a lot, I'd run wide in the corner because I had nowhere to put my foot to use the rear brake. Without this mistake, I think the race would have been more competitive, but maybe the same outcome.

Q: You will have a central role in the battle for the championship, do you have a preference for who wins? And how do you see your role in this championship?

CS: Like I said, if it was my team mate, my role would be different, but I have my own team, my own career to worry about. I'm sure those riders don't care about me, as I know by the way some of them ride against me, they don't care, so I don't think I should either.

Q: You wanted to prove something to your critics, but you got a great reception on Thursday and today. Does that give you any good feeling, or mixed feelings?

CS: No it was nice, but it makes you question why the critics were saying what they were saying and doing what they were doing, it's just black and white. You know they're saying one thing in the period I was gone, and I come back and it's like normal again. Everyone's saying we never expected you to be gone, and yet after day 3 of Brno I heard I was retired and all sorts of things.

You know something that really upset me a lot and I've lost a lot of respect for him is Kevin Schwantz. After what he said, I had a lot of respect for that guy, he's been one of my favorite riders and probably one of the most exciting riders to watch throughout my career. When somebody like that says something like that, it shows you that experience counts for nothing, which is what I've been trying to tell people for a long time now. They're always looking to the older riders to give their points of view, but unfortunately, their points of view are very hard and there's no changing them. And things that maybe happened in the past, and they stick to this, and they think that's the way it's going to go. You know it frustrates me that even people I know weren't sure if I was coming back. We took three races off to try and figure this out, they couldn't see that I was sick after every race, you know, we had an issue, we had a problem, and we had to fix it. And it's nice to come back and show people that we've fixed it, and we did have a problem, and now we're back.

Q: What's your feeling now that you're back at a competitive level?

CS: A little bit of everything. A small part of relief, but we knew we weren't going to lose the speed, as the old saying goes, you never forget how to ride a bike. With my wrist at the end of the year, I came back and I was still second at the end of the first day of testing. There's too many people with with too many opinions, and it was just nice to come back and really put it all to rest, and keep everyone quiet. And especially all the rumors between myself and Ducati, like I said, everyone knows the relationship we have with Ducati and yet they still chose to make something up and make a big hooha out of nothing. You know for myself, for the team, for everyone, to silence everyone, there's a lot of emotions that are feeling really good right now.

Q: After the problems you had with not being able to race, now that you can again, it must have been a fun race. You must have enjoyed being back out there again?

CS: One of the most enjoyable things with proving people wrong was the fitness one. So many people were telling me I just wasn't fit enough, that I wasn't training enough. I haven't trained in five months, and in those five races, we weren't really doing proper races, we weren't really doing race simulations and making myself work physically, and then I have over two months off without anything, nothing at all, and I come back and I'm better than ever. It was nice to be able to do this. Just being competitive again is a really really good feeling.

Q: Was it a matter of being overtrained?

CS: No, a lot of people said it was overtraining. You know, I train enough, people say it's overtraining, undertraining, all sorts of things went around, and it wasn't overtraining. You know, if you overtrain yourself, you feel tired every day. People were saying, oh they know what the problem is, I feel tired all the time, no, I didn't feel tired all the time, I felt tired only when I started doing physical exercise.

And it was a very strange case, and that's why everyone was basically saying that it was in my head, or there's no reason for it, he's making it up, and all these sort of things. Because some doctors couldn't figure it out, they just completely dismissed it, it wasn't a problem, it was all in my head, anemia and all this sort of crap. It was just ridiculous. We've had a lot of doctors in Australia give their points of view and give their tests to me, and they all-cleared it, but at the same time, they didn't say, no, you haven't got a problem. They want to find out what this is. I believe one of the doctors definitely put us on the right track, and two doctors definitely have the same opinion, so that was very nice.

Q: So what happens now, you say the problems gone, hopefully...

Hopefully. I want to go back and start training properly again and see if my level starts coming up, and stays flat. I just had some blood tests a few days before I came back, so they're already being studied again now to make sure the levels are coming better.

Q: Has it been hard for you to sit in silence and not to respond to the criticism that has been leveled at you in the time you've been away?

CS: I don't have TV where we live in Australia, and we have some of the slowest internet you can imagine, so I didn't really look at anything. I brought it up one day, I think, out of the whole nine weeks I was gone. One day I brought it up and just went, wow, I saw the Kevin Schwantz thing and things like that, and it really made me laugh. It pissed me off at the same time, because I had a lot of respect for those riders, Jeremy McWilliams as well, I mean, what the hell do they know? Really, what do they know? Everyone's sitting their with an opinion when they know nothing, and they don't know the situation, so it was very nice this weekend to come back on Friday and know that things were definitely going to be better.

Q: Having got this race out of the way now, you're heading down to Phillip Island, a track you love and go well at, what are your thoughts now heading home?

CS: We took those three races off basically to get the most time off we could missing the least amount of races. We were always planning to come back for this one, and get out ready for Phillip Island. We didn't know how competitive we would be here, but everything worked out really well, and now we can go to Phillip Island. I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully put up a fight.

Q: Do you think you're capable of winning and getting the hat trick down there?

CS: I could have won today. With a little bit more, we could have won today. I think if I hadn't made that mistake on the second lap and ruined my footrest, I might have been able to catch up with Jorge and maybe we could have fought a little bit. But I just made a few mistakes without a footrest, and it just put this gap back to what it was. So without that I think it may have been more of a fight, and I could have pushed through to the end. But anyway, Jorge was very good, very consistent and impressive today.

Q: You said you reached a point where you started to feel tired, but you realized that it wasn't that same intense fatigue. Was that a sense of liberation when you realized that things had changed?

CS: Basically. Like I said, you always get to that point every time when you just start feeling that little bit of fatigue, and you go, OK, from now on you've got to ride easy and not so aggressive. And normally once I got to that point, that was it, that was my limit, and we'd just drop off after that. I got to that, and kept going through it, and that was a bloody good feeling, it made me smile inside my helmet. Because now we could just keep going through it, I could do more than two laps at a time without being completely buggered. You know, I hope this track's quite physical, from what I've seen from everyone's condition, Valentino and Jorge looked pretty tired yesterday afternoon. And to be honest, I actually felt better than they looked. Considering I haven't trained for five months, that's a good sign.

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Have to agree with Casey there. Nobody knew what his situation was really about, not even him or his team and family, and it was more than premature of many critics and the general media to pinpoint it all to a specific problem or just bash him for his decision.
But while it's at least a somewhat understandable reaction of the media, needing to create headlines, and expectable from the "fan"base, I was very surprised about Schwantz' statements, made when he was clearly knowing just as little as everyone else and basically slagging Casey off for no reason.

Anyhow, I'm happy Casey's back, never thought I'd miss him that much.

But he can silence his critics by ceasing to be a whiner. He made it all the way to the end of the podium press conference without a retaliatory dig and just couldn't help himself. For such an isolated stoic that wants to avoid the limelight and doesn't care what anyone else thinks, he's sure got a lot to say.

Casey's young, and not media savvy like Rossi. Nor does he *enjoy* that part of racing. Being Australian doesn't help there either - he's happy to tell it like he sees it, sometimes without thought for the consequences. Mick Doohan and Mat Mladin were the same (just to name two other Aussies).

It's also true that those traits don't make a sponsor's dream, but Ducati/PhillipMorris would have (or should have) seen that before they signed him - it's not like he changed overnight when he joined Ducati.

No-one knew his medical status, including Schwantz. It's the media's job to create a shit-stir, so apart from them everyone else should have waited for Casey, (who tells it like he sees it, which he did from day one) get better and come back (which he also said he would). He's clearly not into media games so why would he lie about it?

He's just a kid that loves to ride motorcycles fast, and that's all. The rest he barely tolerates. Not well, sometimes.

Schwantz's comments were uninformed, baseless and just fueled the fire unnecessarily. As spectacular as he was on a bike he's never struck me as the sharpest pencil in the case in all the interviews I've read.

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast

Schwantz has been rattled by DMG this season. I have no idea why he felt the need to weigh in on Casey's decisions, but he certainly didn't give the appearance of being a knowledgeable legend of the sport.

Maybe DMG rattled MJ too. He gave a less than stellar speech at his hall of fame induction.

Im sure Schwantzy could care less what a prima donna like Stoner thinks about him. When Casey rides a real GP bike then he can talk about the "respect" he lost for Schwantz. Ive lost tons of respect for Stoner. Being a whiney prissy diva and just deciding I cant take it so Im going home! Thats the impression he left with everyone. What does he expect? He just ups and leaves with a "mystery" illness and he expects, neh, DEMANDS respect? No doctor can figure out whats wrong with him its not this and its not that. Send him to the shrink that Ducati sent Marco to.

So who cares what another assembly line rider with no style and no flair thinks about a real champion? I certainly dont.

Schwantz > Stoner

BTW, thanks for ruining the outcome of the race with the spoilers in the preview paragraph there. I dont know what the time difference is, but its not even 630pm here in NY. No reason to watch the race on speed.

Sorry for the spoilers. I normally take a great deal of care not to put spoilers up on the same day as the race. I shall try to remember again next time something similar happens. 

Checking out a motorcycle news site, while not trying to spoil the results of the race that just happened is just asking for trouble.

What always spoils it for me is the email right after the race.

Stoner also lost respect for Rossi after Laguna 08. I guess after all said and done Stoner will lost respect to every one except to him self.

And it was a bit more than could be excused by saying something like "that's racing".

I believe Stoner was pissed off about mostly one incident: at the top of the corkscrew, Rossi ran off into the dirt trying to pass on the inside *when the line just was not there*, and when he came back onto the track he very nearly rammed into Stoner, who had to go wide to avoid being hit. Maybe there is a video of the incident somewhere.

Anyway, it looked to me as if Rossi was at fault there -- he was riding too aggressively on that part of the track. He more or less acknowledged that, IMO, by approaching Stoner immediately after the race and extending his hand in a rather sheepish, non-Rossi way. It was plain to see on TV at the time that while Stoner did not appear especially angry or hostile, he wasn't yet ready to accept Rossi's "that's racing" mea culpa. Which he more or less did later.

Most definitely a double standard when it comes to Rossi. It was the same way with Michael Jordan throwing fouls in the NBA.

How memory can be selective.

Immediately prior to the Corkscrew move, Stoner leaned on Rossi so hard into the slight left kink that they touched. This was at well over 200kmh. Rossi made a mistake in the Corkscrew and came back onto the circuit and put Stoner out, that's for sure, but what else was he to do? Crash and take Stoner out anyway?

Stoner not only did not accept Casey's hand at the end of the race, he then provided further ammo for his detractors by talking to the press for the remainder of that day, when, despite time to calm down, continued to complain about the move in a way that opens him to the accusation of being a whiner.

Whatever you think of Stoner as a racer, as a person he seems ill suited to a race series where media presentation and savvy is all important. We are talking teams with budgets of $40m+ (Kawasaki to come last) and riders with salaries in the millions. If you don't want to take part in that, don't want to play the 'game', there are lots of other things you can do in your life. If your job, something you've aspired to for most of your life, makes you so unhappy, why do it?

I really can't understand the man. In gpweek after Donington he spent his paragraph slating the English fans and bemoaning how they abuse and disrespect him. But whether it bothers you or not, showing them how it upsets you and then proclaiming how you don't care what they think is just more ammunition for them. Sure, they're idiots and not even real fans, but the last thing you do is make your displeasure know...Perhaps he should go play cricket with his countrymen and he can listen to how the Australian's mentally destroy their opposition before a ball is bowled.

Actually, I don't have a "selective" memory. I just don't remember the action you refer to. What I remember (seeing) is Rossi running off and then back onto the track while trying to pass on the inside where he had no business doing that. And if there was a bump beforehand, then it is possible Rossi had no choice. But, sorry, that's not what I saw. There was some aggressive riding by both on that day, but I never saw Stoner endanger Rossi.

Stoner was wrong not to shake Rossi's hand. Not to mention that sometimes it seems he could have handled himself better -- e.g. said less.

And that shows one problem with Stoner: he's not really a "man", emotionally. Not yet. You see it. He's still too much of a kid, not mature enough. In any case, when emotions are high after a race things can be said and done that might otherwise not be. Take Colin Edwards' comments after De Angelis KO'd him, made on TV. The thing is, Stoner is cut no slack by some people. More than that, he's insulted in the most juvenile terms.

And I don't think being "media savvy" is "all important" in MotoGP. What's most important is performance on the track. To suggest that Stoner as a package -- rider, media personality -- is "ill suited" to race because he, per you and others, sometimes does not say the right thing, is, quite frankly, ludicrous. As a professional, Stoner is doing more than OK. He has room for improvement. But the same is true of every rider.

After his win in Qatar at the start of 2007 season there was a poll on some website, asking basically if you thought Stoner was for real. I admit I was one who voted 'No' on that -- I could not see him challenging a consummate professional like Rossi over the course of a season. Needless to say, his on-track performances made a believer out of me. And the rest of it? Well, like I said: some people cut him no slack. Seems overall like a decent guy to me. And like it or not he's one of the most important personalities in MotoGP.

Stoner has been asked directly whether it was that pass that bothered him, and he said it was no problem. What bothered him was the pass a few laps earlier round the outside at Turn 4 (I think), where Stoner felt he was almost forced to crash into Rossi. And Rossi was intimidating Stoner all day by forcing him to the outside of Turn 1, which is a scary place to be. So though your point about Stoner being upset by Rossi's passes is valid, it wasn't the Corkscrew pass that upset him. 

Stoner had no issues with the corkscrew pass... i read somewhere he was upset because he felt Rossi was brake checking him, and Stoner thought that was a dirty tactic.
I assumed it to be the final corner.

I loved Rossi's response to Casey after the Laguna Seca incident - "Motorcycle racing is a man’s sport" - that sort of summed it up for me. Nothing fancy - just one simple sentence that nailed it.

Stoner stated more than once that he was not pissed off about the corkscrew. It was other incidents and passes that were at issue.

Schwantz is a motorcycle racer, not a physician, and neither is anybody else who writes or posts about motorcycle racers. Casey Stoner is lecturing us here, and we deserve his chards. The only thing we know about Casey Stoner is that he is among the fastest motorcycle road racers ever, and that he got sick after a few races. That's all we know, unless we choose to listen to what he says about it all.

I'll say one thing...Rossi had zero to do with Casey's sickness.

Years ago, Kevin Schwantz did about the same thing when Fogarty had decide to retire: he slagged him bad, saying to the press that Fogarty hadn't been hurted enough and on and on...Of course, he adds "in my opinion" before or after the paragrph so it seems allright, but in fact the poison is the same.

Casey has all the rights in the world to be voicing his opinion, be it positive and negative, and some pretty bad things were said about him so he retaliates. understandably.

Be easy on Casey, he's young and not the usual airhead. And anyway, he's a motorbike rider, not a PC Pop Idol blandless sponsors adorer. Live with it.

And let's not forget that when Rossi wants to speak badly, he does it in dubious fashion but very few people seem to mind then (the not-so-old Lorenzo-this and Lorenzo-thatin the press, his old tactic to use JB to carry messages, his suddenly new found love for the Ducati, etc...)

Not the usual airhead?

What about Simoncelli, Pasini, Bautista, Smith and all the other riders who seem to also speak their mind but without seeming to whine about it? Vermuelen who rode his last 5yrs on a poor bike but was seldom seen to criticise it, a rider who actually seemed to enjoy his job.

That's what irritates me the most about Casey. Not that he whines, not that he seems to have a chip, but that he doesn't actually look like he enjoys what he does. And that's what is behind my comment about not being cut out for Motogp. Being media savvy, being prepareed to do the work to help sate the sponsors who pay the bills, that IS part of the job. In the good old days of 500's when the costs were lower, perhaps teams could afford to shoulder the burden, but when a small team like Ducati spends 10's of millions, it takes outside money to make that happen.

Having said all of that he looked awesome on his Thursday press conference and he looked happy for most of the weekend. But then blew it all away with comments about Schwantz, who, like it or not, is respected by many people. It's not what you say, but how you say it and I think that Stoner says lots of good things, he just uses the wrong words.

[...but that he doesn't actually look like he enjoys what he does.]

Why do you say that? Because he doesn't mug for the camera the way Rossi does?

I don't have that impression of Stoner. There are others in the paddock who impress me as more...subdued (if that's the right word) than Stoner -- e.g. Melandri.

Here's an interesting foto:

My username gives away my leanings, but honestly Casey brings a candour and honesty which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but WYSISYG. In that sense, he is not a sponsor's dream - particularly one like Philip Morris who probably wants a radiant media star who can also ride.
I for one think Casey could complain a bit less, but he is delivering some spectacular results. I also remember him giving an interview some months ago before all this brouhaha about how much Ducati were throwing at JL and DP. Casey said money wasn't his objective and he was perfectly happy taking a smaller paycheck if he was allowed to focus more on the racing bits rather than the sponsor appearances. Good on him for that.
I mean, did you catch the look on Signor Preziosi's face through the race - he couldn't stop grinning. They love Casey over in Bologna.

You can tell the whiner is back already. I was hoping he wouldn't come back at all!

As for him criticising people for 'fuelling the fire' and making ill informed statements, maybe should be speaking to his team or to Marlboro. Ducati tried to sign pretty much anyone they could because they obviously didn't have confidence in his return, and Philip Morris executives made no secret of the fact that they had been left in the dark by Stoner when he did his disappearing act and were not happy.

Anyone notice how, when Stoner was away, Hayden had made great improvements on the Ducati. As soon as Stoner returned Hayden was back to fighting for the lower top ten positions and was lucky that Kallio crashed out and Capirossi retired to even get that. Is it that the Ducati team only have eyes for Casey?

Anyway, now he is back at least Rossi will have the satisfaction of beating him in his own back yard :)

You mean Rossi beating Stoner at Phillip Island? Like he did last year? And the year before that?

Ducati weren't chasing Lorenzo because they were worried that Stoner would not return - they were chasing him because they finally realised that it's not smart to have all of your eggs in one basket. If Stoner ever had a season-ending (or career-ending) crash, Ducati would be blowing vast sums of money to run at the back of the pack. It's simply financial commonsense, and Stoner is on the record as saying that it did not upset him in anyway and that he completely understood and expected it.

As for Hayden, he has the same bike, same tyres, same data (Stoner is happy to share his data, unlike some other 'team' riders), his own team completely separate from Stoners team (which is normal for all two-rider teams)... so how can his lacklustre performance at Estoril have anything to do with Stoner? The fact is that Hayden (who I like immensely, and defend when people question his 2006 title) simply cannot come to terms with the GP9, which is unlike any other bike on the grid. Put Hayden on an M1 and he'd be beating Colin Edwards.

[Put Hayden on an M1 and he'd be beating Colin Edwards.]

Pure speculation. I like Hayden as well; as a personality he'd be missed. But I have also documented how (relatively) poor his overall racing performances (on factory machinery) have been since he won the title in 2006. The latest: right now he sits behind four other rides who, due to their poor results, will not be in MotoGP in 2010.

I can see his point, but Casey has to take a little responsibility for bringing on the criticism himself. He is an icon, a public figure, a superstar in some circles. He gave up his privilege of anonymity when he signed the contract. He gets paid by the public through his sponsors, so this is the life. If Casey wants to roll with "Mystery Illness" then crazy speculation is what he gets. Is it worse than cutting your foot on a glass table, or breaking your ankle in a motocross accident? No one knew anything from the beginning nor does anyone know now what is/was wrong with Stoner,, and that's Stoner's decision. He claims that doctors told him not to race. Go fish and relax and you will be cured. If you can really be objective about all of this,, from start to today, at best, it is a strange series of events. As a result, going forward, he will be under the microscope more than ever. "What did he eat"? "Was that sweat?" "Did he just sneeze?" Get ready for more.
I like to watch him race so I'm glad he is back, but maybe he should hire a public relations manager like other celebs who can't handle the scrutiny.

... of that is true.

Your suggestion or insinuation that his illness is fake and so is the prescription of rest from doctors that maybe don't exist does not constitute "scrutiny".

If millions of people want to manufacture slander against him, that is their right in a free world, but it doesn't qualify as "scrutiny", either.

People can call him a "whiner" and they are welcome to that opinion, but no one, at this point, has grounds to call him a "liar" and then justify it as reasonable inquisition.


,,, a true or false series of statements.

just a reasonable assessment based on the limited information about this entire unprecedented event,, no more or less valid then any other opinion.

Pro: It was great to have Casey back and reminds us all of how much better the series (if not exactly the racing) is with him in the mix.

Con: That little Aussie has a chip on his shoulder than somehow makes him run his mouth right into the kitty litter. There is such thing as taking the high road but Casey couldn't find it with a map.

Do you think we can keep him in the series but put a muzzle on him? That would be just about perfect.


Now, if one doesn't crash, one of the Fantastic Four will be off the podium!

It's the whining we all hate and he's been doing it for years. Remember the whining about dirty riding in the 125s? It's nothing to do with him being young or old, or Australian or whatever. It seems to be deeply ingrained in him. Now if he'd reacted to the Donington Day of Champions jeers by picking up the mic and telling them to FOAD we would have all cheered. And he could still do that. Even now a bit of arrogance and an "I don't care what anyone thinks, I'll let my riding do the talking" would get us back on side. but it seems he can't help himself. And slagging off other riders and ex-riders isn't going to endear him to us.

Perhaps he should spend a week with King Frog in Lancashire.

I don't blame Casey for being pissed off at Schwantz, Schwantz called Casey out when he (34) had zero information about what was going on.

But Casey doesn't help his case when he says flat-out stupid stuff like "... experience counts for nothing, which is what I've been trying to tell people for a long time now."

OK Casey, good luck with that logic, if you know nothing more at the end of your career than you know now, you're just plain dumb. And I certainly hope you never feel the need to express your opinion about anything in the future.

I think what Stoner was trying to say was that the experience of riders who raced in the 80s and 90s does not apply to everything that happens nearly 20 years later. The world has changed, and the things Schwantz and his ilk learned on a 500 don't apply to the 800cc MotoGP bikes. 

Bikes change, what makes a great motorcycle racer hasn't. Schwantz was out of line, but Casey is also some combination of naive and delusional when he speaks.

I just wish people would stop once and for all to have any expectations about the way or the code a person must absolutely behave to and obey, especially in front of the media.
Stoner is not one of the lad and he won't come and have a pint with you at the pub, Stoner isn't a clown and he won't wear a wig or make a show, Stoner isn't going to sing an encore, Stoner won't go and flash a smile cos he has a new helmet with a stoopid private joke on it.
He's a shy, self centered (at his level, they all are), direct and on-yer- face motorbike racer who doesn't like to talk about how he feels. But if he does, he makes no prisoner and he says it just how he feels it.
Is everybody just so used to have everything downsized to their own way that they don't want to comprehend someone with a different ethic about how to communicate ?
Can't we just enjoy how great competitor the man really is and put aside once and for all all tentative to reduce things to our own code?

Stoner shoots his mouth off once in a while and says it how he feels it. Not always smart but do we really want every racer to speak in general terms and p.c. comments? They would all be saying the same bland words. As someone stated before, I think Stoner has more personality than a lot of guys out there who can only handkiss in the camera. I think Stoner is a great racer and he spices up the paddock and media wars. What more do we want?

adrenalinmoto was Rossi up set when Stoner beat him at Mugello? stopping his dream 100 gp wins at home?? and on a shit box Ducati.

Gee some of you guys are such great racers in perfect physical condition!! Coming live from your arm chair with the climate control set to perfect. and pot belly to keeping you warm.

And please don't complain about people running their mouth if your American. Ever turned on the radio listened to that rap crap you guys started it! and your Olympic stars after a event, it never stops dribbling out. They only shut up when they get caught out for drug use.

Please don't start me on Hollywood Starts.. I thought Americas would be used to the winging by now. and would feel at home listening to Stoner.

While I appreciate the interest in the interview, and understand that it raises a lot of questions that need to be answered, I would appreciate it even more if we could cut the attacks on nationalities and personalities. There are merits and faults in Stoner's arguments, and it is these we should be discussing, not attacking each other or even Stoner because we disagree. I like to think this is a place we can have a rational and calm debate about motorcycle racing, not just a shouting match for an angry rabble.

I have already removed several comments which added nothing to the debate, and will remove more if I feel it is necessary. I really hope that I won't need to, and we can keep the debate at the very high standard which most of the visitors to this site manage to maintain.

Local TV here in Australia had an interview with Colin Edwards after QP, which they ran before the race telecast. First time in a very long time that I've seen an Aussie interviewer (ex-GP racer Darryl Beattie) getting some air time with a non-Aussie, here's hoping there's more to come for viewers Down Under!

Back to the topic at hand, Kropotkin ran a story a while back about CE's collection of quotes on the Indy GP website and that guy is hilarious! We all have our favourites but I figure different factories, different equipment, different racing lines, different attitudes, different nationalities, the best of the best - isn't this why we love MotoGP in the first place? :) None of these guys is perfect, but we admire how they wield a MotoGP bike.

Lorenzo chasing Rossi for the title, Pedrosa coming on strong, Stoner back in the mix, mid-field battles - what more could we ask for? And at the start of the year, who would've thought this is where we'd be in October? Roll on Phillip Island...

Lets just reread what Kevin said again

For me, that kind of told me that there was something more going on with Casey than just, you know, 'I don't really feel all that good but I'm finding a way to perform.'

“And for me, to have signed a contract whenever it was, beginning of last year, beginning of this year, you're signing a contract to compete unless something is medically wrong with you. I'm out there doing the best that I can.

"Whether I can give 100 percent every weekend or not is kind of the question. But for me it's a real disappointment, and I think, you know, Casey is a great competitor, and I think maybe a little bit more of this has to do with something behind the scenes that maybe none of us quite yet know about.

Maybe that's just some Stoner hard feelings towards Ducati or towards the series or, I don't exactly know what it could be. But to just decide you're going to skip three races and see if you feel any better at the end of it, to me, is a little bit out of the norm,” Schwantz stated.

I don't really think that kevin was saying anything is bad spirit, but I can totally understand casey taking it they way that he did. Kevin does imply that he is a slacker, if not a head case.

For what it is worth I've lost a bit of respect for Schwantz myself

KS could have reserved his judgement. He dismisses the lack of knowledge of what was wrong with Casey and appears to conclude that there was nothing wrong.
Implying Casey just decided to hook off.

As i said previously, it's not the first time #34 comes out and speaks out in ambiguous terms about a rider. Especially if the rider is on a Ducati...
I helped produced and put together a CD Rom on motorbikes a few years ago. There was a piece on KS in it. While I didn't interview the man myself, a famous and well introduced journalist knowing him personally did. KS comes out as a pretty decent guy, but rather "fast on the mouth". This said, he was a laugh and a half as he used to rampage thru the paddocks at night and blow fireworks here and there, waking up the entire paddocks...

Interesting to see such a diversity of opinion re Stoner, however I do believe he silenced all critics with his return performance (I don't care about what he says, only what he does!!)

What is very interesting to me is the general lack of comment on this small fact - Lorenzo spanked Rossi on equal tyres, machines, etc etc!

This to me is the most sensatoinal thing from the weekend!!

Stress is the likely cause of Stoner's problem, manifested in physical terms
The press is part of the problem (maybe the bigger part?)
Casey is human, just like you and me. He has skills which allow him to ride a motorcycle very well - what else?
He's young, under intense public scrutiny and corporate responsibility
How would you perform in his situation? Having a bad day? The world knows it, very soon, and can measure your results very precisely
Having an off day, and your job is offered to other people? That's stressful.
Not every fast rider is skilled in public relations - or even wants to be (the inevitable corollary: not every skilled PR practitioner is a fast rider!)
There are corporate currents and underflows out there in MotoGP that are far fiercer than a single rider's desire to win

Stoner had a physical issue which required rest and treatment, which he got and now he's right again, if a bit unfit. He's raced his entire life and won and lost championships before, he is well used to the mental rigors of racing by now.

His treatment, for an ailment that is still undiagnosed, seems to consist of supplements, proper diet and weeks fishing in the NT.

Why can't it be stress? I suffer from a physical condition that can sometimes be brought on by stress. It is well known that stress causes physical changes in the body. Things that might bother you, don't me and vice versa. It's the way of life and what makes us all unique and interesting.

And if did suffer from a stress induced illness, what exactly is wrong with that? He has lived under the spotlight for all of his adolescence and adult life. Not everyone deals with that well. It suits a certain person, a certain temperament. Being an awesome motorcycle rider does not mean you have to be a great person, stress free and all chilled about life.

If the whole thing would indeed largely be caused by stress, why didn't this hit the guy last year, when he had a title to defend and made some costly mistakes the second half of the year?
Stoner has never been the most relaxed guy, especially not right before a race. But like he stated himself after Estoril, this usually means he feels he has a shot at the win. At Sachsenring and Donington he actually looked pretty cool, when he was not feeling competitive at all.
When Stoner is relaxed, something is wrong. When he's stressed, you will see him running up front.

Why our expectations about sportsmen have to be so important? Why to expect perfect behavior, perfect answers every time, the right manners everywhere? c´mon, they are humans after all !! We’re arguing about things like: he didn´t shake Valentino´s hand, he criticized Kevin Schwanz, that he moans and whines.. I don't think Stoner is perfect, but I think he is genuine, he is the real thing, not a rehearsed version of him. But when we realise that we put more attention to what riders say on the paddock or to magazines to what the DO on the track, perhaps we should switch to watch soap-operas.

Casey Stoner is a riding extraordinaire, one of those really strange talents that come once every 20 years. He was away for two months for health reasons that nobody fully understands. He left, said why, and said when he was back, and he did. In the meantime the media with no information about him and with not better things to write about starts the speculation feast, and suddenly any little gossip, any he-said she-said about Casey, becomes news. He has every right to be upset.

I think it would be wiser for Stoner just to keep it for himself and do his talking in the track, but if he can't shut up I don’t blame him for a minute. There are quite a few out there making a living writing whatever b.s. they can.

By the way, that day at Laguna 2008, he congratulated Valentino and shook hands with him on the podium, a largely forgotten fact about that great race.

Thank christ they're not all little pantomime clowns. It seems to me that all the sheep like detractors climb onto this little MCN generated whinger bandwagon and now it's become a runaway train. Stoner calls it as he see's it. EVERY racer has an excuse for not winning after the race. They're ALL ego-centric with infallible belief in their own abilties, they wouldn't be on the grid if otherwise. He's a genius on a bike and that's all I care about.

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast

Ducati (and the boy himself) have reported that one of the problems Casey has is a lack of soudium. Human tears have a strong salt (sodium) content...thus a probable cause of Casey's problems may be too much crying.

More importantly!!!!! There have been quite a few entries in these comments about Rossi's Laguna Seca pass of Stoner in 2008. I have to ask..."What is wrong with your eyes"? Rossi was ahead of Stoner when he went slightly off course and into the dirt. A very strong move, (one of the best in recent times) recovery and the way a champion should be able to ride. There was no pass!!!!!!

So it's ok to get in too hot when making a pass, go out of control into the dirt, then come back in across the racing line and nearly take out the guy you've just passed... you wouldn't by any chance happen to be Jonathan Rea? Rather pointless bringing that up, as Stoner is on the record as saying that the Corkscrew pass was not something that bothered him in that race, but seeing as you asked...

At 54 seconds, I see a pass - in fact, a botched pass, that he miraculously gets away with without taking both of them out of the race.