Casey Stoner's Statement on His Retirement: "The Sport Has Changed, And I've Lost The Passion For It"

At the start of the pre-event press conference at Le Mans, Casey Stoner made the following statement:

"Afternoon everyone.

"Basically, this has come after a long time of thinking, a lot of time talking with my family and my wife. This has been coming for a couple of years now, but at the end of this 2012 season, I will be not racing in the 2013 championship. I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP and go forward with something different with my life.

"After so many years of doing the sport which I love, and which myself and my family made so many sacrifices for, after so many years of trying to get to where we have gotten to and this point. This sport has changed a lot, and it's changed to the point that I'm not enjoying it, I don't have the passion for it. So at this time, it's better if I retire now. There's a lot of things that have disappointed me and also a lot of things that I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately, the balance has gone in the wrong direction, and so basically I won't be continuing any more. It would be nice if I can stay that I will stay for just one more year, but then when does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now."

Stoner received a round of applause at the end of the statement from the assembled media, team staff and Dorna staff.


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Devastating news for the sport but I completely understand his reasons for it. Just really thankful for all the years I got to see him ride.

I just really hope someone steps up to kick Lorenzo's @$$ so I don't have to see him winning all the time. And it better not be Pedrosa!
It took me a long time to come around to liking Stoner and respecting his amazing talents. I'm really disappointed that we won't get to see more of him manhandling a bike and dismissively schooling everyone else with his breakaway wins. Lorenzo can butter it up all he wants, but he'll never have the raw speed that Stoner does.

anybody. I mean a-n-y-b-o-d-y but Lorenzo. I don't question his skill, but I do question his character. He is a whining, crying, unoriginal punk. I hope someone can sack up and make him their beeeeyatch.

Who can we feed on next? Who can we belittle and degrade with our comments? You don't have to sing praises for the guy, but you don't have to call him names, and cast aspersions to his character.
If you disagree with something he says or has said, keep it specific, cite examples if you can. Give others an opportunity to refute your claim. We try and use facts to form our own opinion, rather than blindly following whoever shouts loudest. That's what football (of any flavour) is for.
This kind of "fandom" does not belong in this sport.

Casey has achieved everything worth talking about within the modern era of the sport and the dumbed down CRT version looming leaves a void as big his abscence will.
He will be sorely missed. Thank the gods my DVD recorder still works.
All the best to him and his family for the rest of the season.
I fully understand his decision.

So he must know somehow everyone will be riding CRT's in the near future and the thought of a cut-throat racing like Moto2 scares Adriana?

I admire Casey very much(and Vale and all others) and it's a shock but looks to me like he loves to just check out in the distance and probably losing that is the one change he don't like?

Hope not!

Or whether racing scooters, who gives a crap, as long as you're competing against the VERY best in the world in the premiere class. The machine does not passion for racing make!

I'm surprised, but I'll be even more surprised if there's not a comeback come 2014.

So you’re telling me you’d rather watch Casey and the rest go to town on mopeds? – Actually, you might have something there. ;) The technical achievement that these machines possess is almost as great a draw to myself as the competition between the riders. Why do they spend their entire lives traveling the world, pushing to get to the top level if it’s not going to be a place where the best motorcycles are ridden by the best riders?

WSBK, AMA SBK etc are great series, but we need GP to be a prototype class. There’s no such thing as sharing the spotlight in racing. There has been and should always be a clearly defined pinnacle. Colin Edwards has described riding a WSBK like he is riding a couch. Paraphrasing: “You can ride around all day on a superbike”. After the first test of every MotoGP season, he states that he rediscovers muscles he forgot he had in the off-season. GP is a special place for the 0.1% and needs to be, or else young riders won’t have a goal to strive for.

They are definitely prototype chassis. One reason McLaren will always have an asterisk next to their name in my mental rolodex is because they do not produce their own powerplant. I hoped they would start after the MP4-12C, as they definitely have the manufacturing capability. The CRT bikes are beauts, but should not be called prototypes due to their outsourced powerplants.

Well Indestructible, I guess that is where you and I disagree. Cheers. not a prototype? You gotta be kidding me. Does the engine comes from a road car? Bad analogy there dude. If factory teams more generous like in teams in f1 by willing to supply engines and stuff, perhaps the CRT won't be here. These factories just have too much pride and in the end they will be the ones that kill motogp.

Please don't put words in my mouth. There is a massive amount of R&D necessary to produce a Formula1 engine. Same for MotoGP. McLaren and other engine customer teams do not have to allot that portion of their budget, whereas Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari do. The economics are attractive, but when Ferrari etc. win, they have the added benefit of knowing it was their engine that pushed the car. Just look at Norbert Haug's face in China when Nico won. He grabbed Lewis, Jenson and Nico and pointed to the Merc logos on their overalls.

GP is flawed at the moment, the money is not there. CRT is a plausible means to fill a grid, but puts the CRTeams at a massive disadvantage of actually being competitive.

F1 for years used to have many companies that made chassis but not thier engines. So by your reasoning these and CRT bikes are not prototypes?

... I was exaggerating to make a point (scooters), but there is not going to be a huge difference between this years machines and next years. It's difficult to understand how that could extinguish someone's drive to be a world champion, being held up as the single best person in the world at what you do for a year.

If the fire is out, the fire is out, you can't kill him for that. But as always, his dismay leaves me a bit puzzled. Quite frankly, the more you know about Casey, the less you understand him.

Casey –

All the best to you and your new family. Racing on the world stage is something all of us on the outside looking in want dearly. I hope we, the fans are able to understand that you’ve been on a plane for most of your life and you are ready for a change. I’m sure you’ll be the fastest dad on two wheels for miles around. Laguna will be special this year…

I equally respect Stoner as one hell of a champion and dislike attitude at times but this will be a blow to the series. It was looking like he could keep riding and winning for years to come with many records poised to fall but it seems it is not to be. Better for him to stop while healthy and on his terms though. I imagine that seat at Honda will be the for sought after this coming off season. Looking forward to enjoying the rest of this season.

Stoner is 27 and retiring , and other riders make it to 29 and are washed up! wow

I knew having a kid was going to change his outlook on life, but not this much

Then again, I cant see Rossi or Lorenzo settling down with a wife and having kids either

Good to hear that he is getting out when he can still be a functioning human being.

Motogp champ in 2018 in his comeback!

In the past couple of years MotoGP racing has become much closer and more interesting, and that is he good news. I no longer fall asleep after the 1st 10 laps. By comparison, the 2008 and 2009 seasons did not have a last lap pass for the lead. Now that I think about it, why would this hold anybody attention?

If it wasn’t for Moto2, I would not have re-upped for the MotoGP online package. If I could find a WSBK online carrier, I would drop the MotoGP online package.

Casey’s main gripe has been against CRT bikes. Economic reality, and the boring races have steered MotoGP to CRT bikes. Currently, its costs millions to lease a satellite Yamaha, Honda, or Ducati bike. It cost even more millions to run a factory team. Kawasaki and Suzuki could no longer afford to run in MotoGP, if they ever could during the 800CC era.

Ducati can’t keep up with Yamaha or Honda anymore. At the beginning of this season, it comes down to two factory supported Yamaha’s and two factory supported Honda’s for every race and the season title.

I like Casey as a racer and can’t blame him for retiring, but Casey wants the Manufactures to keep writing the rules. That means boring races, with only a small number of bikes on the lead group, with little to zero passing in the lead group.

Motorcycle racing reality and the world economics reality have changed but Casey has not kept up with either. The countries that are crazy for motorcycle racing are in a Depression. Sponsors are going bankrupt, Nations are slashing spending, fans can no longer afford the races, and State sponsored networks are cutting subsidies to commercial free broadcast, as well as aid to tracks.

Either Casey has missed the boat, or he sees all this and is getting out, while the getting is good.

Actually he has never said that, he has only said that the series should remain proper prototypes. He has been very vocal about preferring not have electronics. If the manufacturers had there way, there would be more and more electronics, so I don't know where you get that idea from.


What Casey wants for the MotoGP series is unsustainable.

Nobody prefers CRT, but it almost seems that he doesn't understand such a huge compromise has to be found (temporary or definite), otherwise there might be no series -at all- in the not so distant future.
That's the big ugly truth behind the modern and precious multi-million-euro leased prototypes which we all got used to see, put at light with the current economic climate.

And unfortunately, I have to agree with other voices commenting that, by quitting now, Casey ultimately missed the bigger picture and gave an example that should have been the opposite - to believe, support and be positive.

If the world champion doesn't find things interesting anylonger and decides to quit, well... then it is really sad, and yes, his decision must be respected.
A very big loss to the sport, right when it needed him.

Catalunya 09 was one of the best races of the decade!
Laguna 08 is on the same list but there was no pass on the last lap

I wonder about the timing of the announcement. If he's announcing this early in the season I guess he's giving Honda and any interested riders plenty of time to make plans for next year.

It also makes it completely final... no hope that he'll change his mind now.

Really too bad... hate to go into next year knowing there's someone in the world that can probably beat the guys at the front.

Someone made the point that MotoGP has all the fastest guys in the world... well that won't be true in 2013.

Why wouldn't it be? If someone quits and doesn't race in 2013, that person is no longer the fastest in the world... but I hate to see him go.

I was never really a big "Casey Stoner Fan." I've always admired his skill as a motorcycle racer, but that skill - to me - always seemed to be offset by some negative characteristic that somehow rubbed me the wrong way.
That being said, I love to watch him take a motorbike - any motorbike - around a racetrack. The perfect display of raw talent. I'll miss that, but I can't wait to see who gets the now-open spot on the podium every race.
Casey did what he wanted to do as a racer, and what he and his family made so many sacrifices for - that's something no one can deny. He's still young (and in one piece and walking), and has a new family to worry about. He's ending one chapter and beginning another.
I don't think he'll be back. Other racers who've attempted comebacks - successfully or otherwise - never seemed ready to give it up in the first place. I think Casey's different. He'll hang up his leathers for good. Sure he'll miss it, but he's moving on.

I totally understand what he means by, "this sport has changed a lot".
I'm 34 years old, and have been watching racing on TV as far back as I can remember, when it used to be televised on ESPN in the US! Remember that guys? You have to respect his decision. Best of luck!

On another note, this just added some rainbow sprinkles with a cherry on top of the silly season! Any thoughts about the vacated seat for 2013?


This coming. Honestly thought it was all a load of hubbub. But there we are, not the first time I've been proved spectacularly wrong, and certainly won't be the last.

From the bike racing point of view, you simply have to respect the man. He's clearly the one of a kind. And rode a bike like no other. But from a personal point of view, I've never warmed to him. At all. At his best he's seemed aloof, at his worst, down right rude. But this is just my perception. I'm clearly well of the mark. But, it's my opinion.

Lets be honest, he's a double world champion in the Rossi era, so you've gotta take your hat off to him. Still, as I say, he's a double world champ, so he's not gonna give a fuck what a load of internet moto gp "know it alls" think about him. I certainly wouldn't.

Cue the rumour mill going into overdrive about Rossi back to HRC in 5........4..........3........

Although many of on the inside have had a few weeks to ponder this news when it was leaked by a pretty reliable source,I think it safe to say we all hoped it was a red herring.

Casey Stoner is the most talented motorcycle racer alive today - a once in several generations natural talent that we may not see the likes of again. Certainly as good as Rossi, he just didn't have the PR (mainly personally but also in his entourage) to become the cult figure Rossi has become, but this does not lessen his phenomenal achievement one jot.

Over the next few years we will see new champions emerge, but lingering at the backs of our minds for a long time to come will be the nagging question: "but how would he have fared against Stoner?"

Like a consummate entertainer that he has - almost ironically - turned out to be, he departs the stage leaving the audience wanting more. But unlike a great comedian or a rock band, we aren't standing on chairs shouting "encore". We are left in a stunned silence - knowing we have witnessed the consummate performance of a true maestro, who, having achieved perfection on stage, knows that repetition - if even possible - could only tarnish that perfect moment.

Casey, I stand in awe. The sport may have lost a major player, but it has gained a legend. Your courageous decision will prove an immeasurable enhancement to the mystique of the sport; giving me stories I can tell the grandchildren and granting you the life you have richly earned.

Well done you.

" a once in a generation rider" come on. I would put Fast Freddie Spenser over Stoner. And Rossi, well, lets just say that having the heart to ride is part of what makes a rider great. He's on top now, he doesn't like that the racing is closer, and he's going to quit and stay in switzerland with his money.

Bravo! Fantastic comment! Angry Rossi fan? I thought they were extinct.

Is consistantly the most thick-headed commenter on this site. How do I vote you -stars ? Doesn't even deserve one star.

definately not a once in generation rider.. once in 2 or 3 generations more likely

You argue against Stoner as a once in a generation talent...with a rider who won their last title 27 years ago, the year Stoner was born. Sounds like a generation to me.

. . . . . . . . . and he may be as good as Rossi - but we'll never know. Because there's this little matter of all those championships over all that time. There's a reason Agostini and Rossi are considered head an shoulders above everyone else. It's the numbers. Stoner is awfully damned good, possibly could have been one of the best ever, but he's not sticking around long enough for all of us (including him) to find out.

So, over the test of time, he's going to be merely one of the first rank riders in GP history. Not fighting for the title of Greatest of all Time.

Rossi is certainly one of the best ever - his stats will always be there to back that up. But Stoner was the man who consistently beat Rossi and did so on a bike no one else could ride - not even Rossi. When Stoner sits on a worthy bike he is almost unbeatable.

Stoner's name will always be mentioned as one of the greats.
There is no best ever - never will be.

There is no 'greatest', the sport has changed too much to compare. But when you will finish your career wedged between Mike Hailwood and Mick Doohan on the all-time wins list (anyone betting against Stoner picking up 3 more wins this year?) you are in the select few.

Wow! This wasn't what I expected when clicking on the site! I wonder if he'll truly be happy with 2(or 3 if he wins the title this year)world championships? He's at the top of his game and may regret leaving later on after it's too late to make a comeback. On the other hand if he's not having fun, then it's probably the right decision

Wow, wow. I have respected Casey's talent for a long time. There is no one else on the grid that can make a bike go faster than it wants to like Casey can. The bike could basically be an ill handling piece of work, but he will make it work. Ben Spies when he started said he could understand and see how Rossi, Lorenzo and everyone else went fast. But Casey, he just could not understand it, as Casey would fly by on a straight going into a corner with the bike all over the place.

Hate to see him go, but you cannot knock a person who chooses family over all else. There have been plenty of champions that probably would have changed some of their focus to their families when they look back on it all. Does not mean they would have retired earlier, but definitely would have made some changes with a little more focus on home.

Was hoping to see more years of him, Lorenzo, and even looking forward to seeing how Marquez matched up.

Oh well, wish Casey Stoner and his family all the best. He will truly be missed by the people that love, and hate him. What he brought to races will not be duplicated any time soon.

I've been following/watching GP racing since I was 12.....and I'm now 56. I'm a 'race fan' and have had my favorites over the decades, but I've never seen ANYONE ride a bike like Casey! Including Freddie! 02000 in his post above...if Spies is amazed at what Casey is doing, we can't come close to understanding his sheer ability to make a bike 'go fast'. After reading this bombshell.....I went to the garage and start wrenching on my track bike, making sure its prep'ed for Tuesday's track day.....and I was sad/depressed. Watching the remaining practices/qual'ing/races this year will be bitter/sweet. After this year, we won't have the chance to watch a true genius paint his stunning master pieces.

I think there's more to Casey's retirement then just family. Reading his comments, over the last couple of years, I think he's feed up w/the ever changing rules, the PR and PC'ness needed in his chosen profession, and now the 'dumbing down' of the GP bikes. Even though I understand why CRT's are coming, I can totally understand how frustrated Casey is. Anybody can ride a WSBK fast, but its only a very chosen few that can truly explore the limits of a GP bike....and Casey can push it farther then anyone ever has!

Casey, you'll be missed more then you'll ever know!!!! Godspeed and enjoy your life to its fullest. You've earned it.

So if that's the case, why isn't every man and his dog doing it? Sorry, I don't agree with this one little bit. Sure a Moto GP bike is a very large level above a WSBK bike. But come on. To say "anyone" can ride one fast is pushing the limit.

I think by "anyone" he is refering to racers, i remeber Crutchlow saying that all motogp riders,even the 'also rans', are capable of fighting for wins in superbike

You are successfuly destroying MotoGP, as evident by Casey's statements. Lets hope Bradl and Marquez can get into the fray next year or it's Lorenzo's title to lose


Can't agree with you here mate. In the ideal world when all the countries are full of money bags and the manufacturers have unlimited money to create amazing new technologies for motorcycles and throw even more at riders to ride the wheels of those things, if Dorna made the changes that it has now, that would have been a crime. With factories leaving GP racing and even those that are staying cutting down supply of motorcycles what options does one have. And I think Stoner's decision should be respected but all that nonsense about the way in which the series is going and all should be taken with jars of salt. He does not have motivation, acceptable. But because of CRT machines, absolute rubbish. Give the CRTs time and they will improve or wait for the series to melt away along with the deteriorating economic situation globally. Be realistic. Anyway, while Casey Stoner is HUGE talent he is not bigger than the racing world (read that as MotoGP). Institutions outlive individuals as a certain Michael Schumacher and even a certain Valentino Rossi are finding out.

As of right now, his ride for next year has just become safe.

I seem to remember that Repsol's got great interest in someone who's currently in Moto2 (cannot remember the name as I write this), and there was going to be some kind of effort to get around the "no rookies" rules for factory teams. I was half expecting Pedrosa to end up losing his ride in favor of the new guy for 2013.

However, with Stoner gone, Repsol can't afford to lose Pedrosa, too. No, he hasn't won a championship (like Nicky, snigger, snigger), but he's constantly fight for and pulling podiums. Right now he's one of the five best riders available out there, and already knows the bike, team, etc.

I was a big fan of Casey in his days at Ducati... There was something that seemed altogether more magical about him winning with "the little company that could"... As though he was motivated as much by winning as he was by the extreme challenge of doing it with the smallest manufacturer on the grid... but that's totally me just looking at it through my own myopic lens...

Casey at Honda has been without reproach... He has dominated and proven that you must bring something beyond special to the fight if you want any kind of chance at beating him.... having said that, I have never felt as though seeing #27 in his Repsol Leathers on the top of the box has held the same power as it did when he was with Ducati... perhaps it was like he was pulling a rabbit out of his hat each and every time he won on the red beast, whereas winning on the honda is quite simply, the way we expect it to be....

I've had the pleasure of watching him in person at Laguna Seca every year since his first season in the premier class and will be there this year for his swan song.... It will be a special weekend for sure. You may have guessed by my username that I might, just MIGHT, be a fan of that little italian company, so for sure I'll be rooting for Valentino to bring it to Casey again a' la 2008.... Not likely to happen but I am certainly thrilled I'll be there to see him race one last time....

Law of unintended consequences strikes again! Gotta get to the Island this year, T3 will be a sight to behold. As a fan, I'm saddened that I won't have the privilege of seeing his silky skills on display for longer, but like many have said above, I respect his decision and the reasons why.

How often do we complain about "old-timers" not making way for fresh talent, and then something like this happens to shake up the whole field. Maybe we'll see Stoner v Bayliss in Aussie V8 Supercars...

Sorry, such a more than boring CRT-style series.(for our Aussie readers)
Back on topic; Remember Casey and family have been on the road since he was 14 or so. Poor Lascorz looks like Wayne Rainey's outcome at this stage. And Marco. Don't blame Casey one bit although I will very much regret his leaving.

but what if Spies ends up in HRC?
We know he's out of contract after 2012 and some people may scoff at that thought based on his late slump , but real experts would know that's normal within racers(all or most of them have had slumps sometime) the slump might be a setup or confidence problem, and he still has a lot of potential to show, one way or the other, I'm sure he will step up his game soon to try put himself in the showcase for that seat.

So dissapointing, as there is no one in the field that rides as hard as Stoner. I will miss him at Phillip Island in years to come - watching him race there trackside, is one of the highlights of my year, every year.

But, I think a good decision. A great career, he has his health still, and a young child to watch grow up. More family man now than racer ? Having a child *does* change you.

Lorenzo, and the rest of the paddock breathe a sigh of relief. Stoner has shown he is a man of principles. Congrats to Casey for being brave enough to resist the HRC millions, and stick by his own values.

I get it that Stoner has huge talent and that he's at the top of his game and that he's basically served Rossi his ass on a platter but at the same time I don't think his cryptic and negative commentary today about the sport is fair and, in light of it, I think the many gushing messages posted here are silly. What exactly does he not like about the sport these days? The guy comes out and basically dumps on the sport and most people here say "wow, I love you Casey." what gives?

Spanish and Italian media have never been a fan of him. I don't know where you hail from, but early in his career Stoner was painted as the anti-Rossi and if history teaches us anything, it's that first impressions can last a long time. Much of the press has marginalized his success - ex: 2007 - Ducati had best top end speed; 2011 - Casey stepped into Honda when it was the best bike on the grid; there are many more.

Every race weekend, Casey sits in front of media and rather than fielding questions about his setup and how he's feeling about the race, he has to play down the latest gossip. It's a shame, because for us in the English speaking world, his technical commentary is spectacular and has been showcased on this site.

Please realize that Casey's only goal in participating in GP was to compete against (and hopefully beat) the most talented motorcycle racers on the planet, on the most technically advanced machines. In black and white, that is no longer the case.

We here do say, "Wow, I love you Casey" because we know his racecraft is rare. We have zero concern with what his favorite song, color or vacation destination might be.

Do you read these media? I've been reading Motociclismo and Solo Moto since 04 and I can tell you that Dani Pedrosa has come in for a lot more stick from them than Stoner. Solo Moto has managed to pee everybody off at one stage or another with stories it has written and opinions it has presented. It had a long-running spat with Pedrosa and Puig a few years ago and even had one with Rossi at one point. As far as I know, their story on Stoner two weeks ago is the first time they've had a run-in with him. Articles on Stoner's races are always filled with comments on him being unbeatable, unstoppable and remarks on his aggressive riding style, so I wouldnt say that the Spanish media, at any rate, have had it in for him. Btw, Motociclismo publishes columns by Dennis Noyes and Randy Mamola so it's not so easy to box things off as Spanish media. I'm from Ireland btw.

I heard the story on the 6am news when I woke up (after the local football team selections - bloody unappreciating homeland!) and had to wait for the 6:30 news just to make sure i wasn't dreaming!
I'm shocked that he has come to this decision, especially so early in the season. I knew he wouldn't be racing til he was 40 but this is a few years earlier than I expected or hoped. I'm selfishly disappointed in his decision but have huge respect for him and it further shows his disregard for stats and records. All the best to you Casey and whatever your future may hold.

Surely now Repsol, wanting a Spanish champion, will chase Lorenzo hard? Whatever happens, the silly season just got really interesting!

Couldn't believe this from the moment I first read it! What a loss for the sport this will be. Was never a stoner fan but had major respect for the way he could beat those bikes into submission. Now we'll never get to see how long he could of stayed on top. Lost Marco last year, casey's done, CRT's, and who knows if rossi will ever get back on top. Sad to see Motogp in this state. Here's hoping to a brighter future.

Losing Casey is unfortunate, as is the current state of Rossi's career, but there is no shortage of talent out there. Aside from Lorenzo and Pedrosa (who came in fourth in the championship last year despite missing three races), Look at Crutchlow's performance this season. Look at Bradl. Look at Marc Marquez and Romano Fenati.

We may not have another Rossi type superstar waiting but there are a lot of guys who really know how to race bikes coming up through the ranks.

Stoner has always been, very simply a racer. 2 titles, 3 titles, four titles? I don't think he cares as much as we do how many he has.

What he wants to do is race, and ride at the very edge of his ability. If you not having fun then stop doing it. Doing it when the fun finishes tends to make people unhappy, bitter, and resentful.

I've just had my first child and can see my view of the world changing. I think Stoner's dissatisfaction with the bikes/technical direction have been compounded not only by the arrival of his first child, but also by Simmoncelli's passing last year.

Hopefully some one will step up to take the fight to Lorenzo.

I will miss Stoner when he's gone, but intend to enjoy his riding while I can.

... I am finding being at work today very hard. This news sucks.... For me.

For Stoner, thank you!!! Watching you race these beasts over that last few years has given me immense enjoyment and has had me looking forward to every GP weekend with much anticipatiin since your arrival to the big league.

You will be sadly missed.

I hope Cal can step it up a notch and get factory support. Maybe Honda can give him a go. Only then, will we have a non Italian/Spanish rider to barrack for in the near future.

I could see this happening... but not this quickly.

Stoner needs a challenge, not just from other riders but from the bikes themselves. This is what I posted this about 4 months ago;

"The number of world championships, race wins, poles or money means nothing to Stoner, he will leave the sport when
A - Lorenzo or Pedrosa get hurt or leave and there are no other 'aliens' to race against
B - If the bikes are 'dumbed down' to the point where they are comparatively easy to ride compared to the full prototypes."

There also could be more going on than we know, Stoner is on the 'front line' in MotoGP and maybe Honda have told him what their plans are for the next year or two and they're not very appetizing (perhaps for example, with a looming 15,000 rpm rev limit they are considering using a much cheaper modified Fireblade engine)

Whatever the reason, It is obvious from this announcement that era of "knife edge" open class pure race bikes is about to end and the era of cheap-and-easy-to-ride-on-the-limit MotoGP bikes is about to start.

Will the racing be closer? ..maybe
Will the truly gifted be tied down in a swamp of technical mediocrity .. probably

I maybe the odd man out here but I find this very sad

The Italian press have never forgiven Stoner for handing Capirossi his arse on a plate, let alone make Rossi's efforts on the Ducati look very ordinary in comparison. Actually, Rossi made a goose of himself by claiming that Stoner wasn't riding the Ducati hard enough.

To parphrase John Surtees. Rossi is like Agostini, fast when the bike is right. Stoner is like Hailwood, fast on anything.

Bravo poleposition - excellent comment more than worthy of the racer that Casey Stoner is. I think that for a person as intensely shy as Stoner is - and believe it, he is VERY shy - dealing with what David Emmett has recently revealed as a "hostile press" for as many years as he has, I am sure in no small way has influenced his decision to call it quits. There is no doubt in my mind that the "hostile press" has had a big hand in killing Stoner's passion for racing in MotoGP. But it has not killed his passion for racing. Watch this space.

...whoever wins the championship each year from 2013, it opens the flood gates for people to say "Yeah but he wouldn't be if Stoner hadn't retired..." which would detract from the champions achievement.

From a purely selfish point of view I'm sad to read that Casey Stoner will be retiring at the end of the year. As so many others have said, his talent is all but unique and he's the current benchmark in MotoGP and therefore roadracing.

Someone (I forget who - sorry) suggested that bike racing fans tend to support the riders that most closely match their own personal character, as percieved from the couch via the medium of TV generally. I empathise with Stoner's no nonsense approach to racing and I really appreciate the thought he gives in interviews to describing his racing rather than just trotting our the standard PR guff like so many riders. Motomatters has of course given us several opportunities for Stoner to give us invaluable insights into his racing for which I know we're all very grateful.

I think it's unfair to dislike Stoner for his less than perfect personality. Should we really expect the world's best racer to be a comedian, raconteur, celebrity etc as well? To get that good at bike racing must require such dedication that you miss out on developing the rest of your skills to some extent. I'll take a racer talking racing over a racer talking sponsor-speak or bland PR any day of the week.

I think most of us would agree that Soner is a fish out of water in the public eye. Unfortunately he seems to feel (or actually be) pressured into media exposure and commenting on issues that others are much better placed to speak on. He's clearly not the most eloquent of people, probably for the reasons stated above; but he has unfortunatley commented probably more than he should on matters where he would have been better staying silent: racing in Japan after the tsunami, CRT bike politics etc. Doohan, who Stoner openly admires, disliked the press and PR as well. I seem to remember that he compromised his earning potential by stipulating that he would severely limit his time spent doing PR. It's a shame that Stoner didn't have a mentor to advise him on such matters - maybe David could comment please?

It will be dissapointing to see MotoGP technology stifled by CRT-type rules and lower budgets but in all liklihood the best riders in the world will still compete. A possible side benefit might be that there are fewer "casual" fans, less PR twaddle, less inane rumours and prattle and above all less fan verbal hooliganism. In which case it's really not all bad.....

Apologies if the last paragraph seems gloomy but the pinnacle of the sport has just lost its point.