Repsol Press Release: Casey Stoner Talks About Defending His MotoGP Title

After yesterday's interview with Dani Pedrosa, it was just a matter of time before the Repsol Media Service issued their tradition mid-season interview with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. In the intervew, The Australian talks to the Repsol PR team about his season so far, the difficulties of defending a championship, the intense level of competition at the top of the championship, and what to expect from Marc Marquez when he moves up to the premier class. The full text of the press release interview is below:

“I am World Champion and I don’t give up easily”

Casey Stoner faces the second half of the season eager to defend his Crown as reigning MotoGP World Champion.

Repsol Media Service - Wednesday 01/08/2012

In one of the closest seasons of recent years, reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has taken four victories to date. His most recent triumph came this past weekend at Laguna Seca, adding to a further three podiums from the opening ten races of 2012. The Repsol Honda Team’s Australian rider is third in the overall standings and will be trying to take a second consecutive title this year to sign off his career on a high note.

Just past the halfway point of the season, how do you evaluate your riding, the team and the bike so far?

"To be honest, I'm pretty happy with my level, but we made a couple of small errors in Mugello and Sachsenring, which unfortunately left us far behind in the standings. I think if things had been slightly different, if the weather had been different at some races and if we had not made these mistakes, then we would be in a good position. As we are now, we have lost a lot of ground on where we should be. "

A year ago at this point in the season, you were first in the championship with 20 points more than you have now. What has changed?

"As I said, if we had raced at Le Mans in the dry, then I have to think that we were in a good position to win there and if I would have won at Sachsenring we'd probably be leading the championship now. But unfortunately I made those mistakes, things did not go as planned. In Qatar I had arm pump when our pace was clearly the fastest. Things have not been perfect. The new rule with the tyres has been a disaster for us and it has become very difficult to make the bike work. "

Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and you are the current frontrunners in MotoGP. How do you beat those two, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?

"I think it changes every week. Clearly, Jorge is always up there, always looking very strong and consistent, because obviously he is very happy with this new tyre. That compound is what they preferred in preseason testing and myself and Dani were the ones who didn’t like it at all. Your strengths and weaknesses change at every race and you have to evaluate that over a weekend, which is never easy.”

The three of you have shared the podium more times than any other group of riders. Is the level of talent in the World Championship higher than ever?

"I think so. I think it has been getting better year after year. The first four from last year have always competed together, we rose up through the lower classes together and I think this season the level has been increasing in strength. It is a great feeling to have been on the podium so many times with Jorge and Dani. We respect each other a lot, we enjoy good battles and races and I am very happy to be taking so many podiums alongside them in my final season.”

Except for in the Netherlands, Lorenzo has always placed first or second this year. Can he keep this level up for the entire season?

"Yes, there is no reason to think otherwise. He has maintained this level until now and can keep it up until the end of the season. He has been very consistent, always there or thereabouts. Although sometimes he has not had enough speed, he is still always up there and if he doesn’t finish first, then he places second. It will be very difficult to finish the season ahead of him, but we have to try."

In Germany it was all-or-nothing…

"No, it really wasn’t. To be honest, I was very happy with the position that I was in. I was planning my attack for the last corner, where I was much better at braking than Dani, with much more confidence, and when I released the brake a little early on the previous corner to go easy on the tyre, I think I was too soft and didn’t load the front enough. I crashed and I was very surprised about that, because I was very confident about overtaking. In the end, I messed up our championship in that one moment. It wasn’t the best way to finish off a weekend.”

Does the zero carry a lot of weight?

"No. I can only do what I can and mistakes happen. Quite simply, we will do everything we can until the end of the season. "

Do you think that after that crash and the result in Italy, people wrote you off prematurely?

"They always do, even last year. When we were not ahead in the championship, they forgot about us. Every year I have a couple of bad races and people forget too quickly. You must remember what we do, that I'm World Champion and I do not give up so easily."

What is your strategy for the second half of the season?

"There is no strategy, ever. During the season you have to try to be the fastest at each race and in each session, try to run the bike and tyres as best you can, and get more points than any other rider. It's the best that we can do."

You have always spoken well of Marc Márquez. How do you see him doing next year on your bike?

"To be honest, I don’t know, because I'm not sure about the level of Moto2. We can see that he is at a much higher level than other riders, but I’m not sure about the level of his rivals. We have not seen a Moto2 rider come up to this championship with much success; Stefan Bradl has had a couple of decent results, but I made mistakes in those races so maybe things have looked a little better than they are really. We have yet to see a Moto2 rider triumph in MotoGP, but if anyone can do it, it’s Marc."

If Marquez were to ask you for advice on how to approach the premier class, what would you say?

"I think every rider has their own opinion and I don’t think Marc will ask me for any advice Marc. In fact, he probably considers himself a little better than I am, because he has a lot of confidence in himself and his abilities. I think he may need to relax a little, because this category is not so easy."

There are nine races to go before you put an end to your career in MotoGP. Do you sometimes think "I’m not going to ride here again” when you go to circuits? What do you think will be the thing that you miss the most?

"I don’t really think not about not riding anymore at any track. I can come back whenever I want. Perhaps not competing, but I can take a ride at tracks. I'll miss racing, because unfortunately it is only a small part of the sport -very small. I will really miss the people I work with and with whom I enjoy spending time. It will be very sad not to see them anymore."

Following the race at Laguna Seca comes a break for two weeks. Is it a good time to play with your daughter, enjoy the company of your wife, relax fishing, or to train to the maximum?

"Both. I'll try to fish a little, and I have some friends who have come to see us, so we’re going to spend some time together and relax a little. But I will also try to train to be fit for Indianapolis."

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In Germany it was all-or-nothing…

"No, it really wasn’t. To be honest, I was very happy with the position that I was in. "

where are all the people who felt so proud of the bullshit called "win it or bin it" attitude that everyone thought (and even casey said after that race) was so great of him and that he races to win each race and not championship and is not happy to settle for a second position etc etc, unlike some other riders (as if they race not to win races but championships? what a load of crap) ? i am a pretty strong fan of stoner but even i knew that was just plain bullshit.

at least now he admits he was very happy with the position he was in (as opposed to all the claims and praises by his blind fans - he has the "true racer" attitude of just winning or binning and is never happy with a 2nd position) and just wanted a last (normal) try to overtake and doesnt cloud it all by saying "i have a win it ot bin it attitude" ..

Stoner has backed off multiple times for many reasons. He thought he could win and he went for it and crashed. Casey is clearly not a win it or bin it rider.

You haven't read and understood what he has said. You have just taken one phrase out of context.
He said he was happy to be in that position (at that point in time), because he was very confident of overtaking Dani in the last corner where he was much stronger.
We have seen many examples in the past where riders have been happy to sit in second place before making a move near the end of the race. Casey was obviously planning to leave his move very late. Some might even call that exciting.
I think you will also find his 'win it or bin it' comment after the race was made with a large serving of sarcasm. He doesn't consider himself a 'win it or bin it' rider but he does go for the win when there is a chance, and backs off when there is no chance.
On the rare occasion he does admit to taking the win it or bin it approach, such as the last race of 2011 where he overtook spies on the straight, but normally (and that includes Germany) he does not.
He said he was very surprised the front end let go because he didn't think he was pushing too hard in Germany. When he beat spies, he said he took more risk in the last corner than at any other point during the year.

On one hand he says, " if I would have won Sachsenring" then he says he was comfortable to be in second. One thing is for sure, he's a fierce competitor who hates to lose.

Interesting interview. I'm not a big fan of Stoner when he's off the bike, although I respect the fact that he always seems to speak his mind.

But what he says about Bradl ("Stefan Bradl has had a couple of decent results, but I made mistakes in those races so maybe things have looked a little better than they are really") sounds a bit... unintelligent, in my humble opinion. Bradl is 6th in the WC, he's had more than "a couple of decent results" and no, it wasn't (only at least) because Stoner made mistakes. Without looking up the statistics I think Bradl has had a very successful 1st season so far in what Stoner calls the championship with the highest level of talent ever. He deserves some credit and I think his serious behaviour and errorless riding really suit the category and can help him improve to challenge for podiums, and perhaps wins, next year. Hopefully!

What he (Stoner) is saying is that, among the factory bikes that are competitive, he (Bradl) is where he should be.

I thought that was a bit strange, too, but I can see he is probably thinking that Bradl hasn't really beaten anyone who didn't mistake their way out of a position in front of him.

It seems a little odd, considering that's the ride where he started his MotoGP career, but that's his prerogative.  Maybe he's trying a "mind game" to motivate him... ;-)

Hadn't thought of that angle. Indeed, it might well be he was just comparing Bradl with himself, Lorenzo and Pedrosa. But I dont find this a very useful comparison as I wouldn't expect anybody coming straight from the moto2 category to adjust immediately and challenge the frontrunners in the first half of the season. Since the spec-tyre rule was put in place it hasn't actually happened (wonder why). Even Sic had a worse first half than Bradl is having (and he wasn't crashing that much in his first year). There you go, I looked up the statistics after all :)

It seems Stoner believes MM will join and start getting on the podium immediately. That's how someone can better Bradl's so far performance. Personally, I don't expect this to happen. But if it does, it will mean that MM is a really special rider (albeit on one of the few best bikes of the grid). Seeing what he can do is definitely one of the main expectations of 2013.

Stoner believes that a truly fast rider should be close to pole and the podium from the beginning. Stoner has said several times that he expects Marquez to be on the podium fairly early on next season. We shall see.

Basically saying that Bradl is where you would expect a good rider to be, given the team and equipment he is on, but that the results have not been better/worse than expected, so it's hard to draw any conclusions.

As opposed to Bautista, Bradl is doing a good job, but it remains to be seen which of the Moto2 graduates will become the next aliens.

While I am very impressed with Bradl's riding, it's worth remembering that Stoner in his first year in motoGp, riding the first LCR bike ever in the top class (and a bike probably not as close to factory as this year's satellite bikes since they are of the new class batch), managed a pole in his second race, a second place finish in his third race, and an average finish of 4.5 for his first ten races (of those he DID finish, admittedly, having 2 x DNFs in that first ten races). Pedrosa had 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third, one DNF and an average finish of 4.2 for the same period; Lorenzo had 1 win, 2 seconds and a third, two DNFs and an average finish of 4 for his first season. Ok, Pedrosa and Lorenzo were both on factory bikes in their first season, and Bradl is pretty obviously not..

Bradl has no podiums, 1 DNF, and an average finish of 6.7. So I think Stoner's comments, which are basically 'good, but no cigar' for Bradl are fair. That said, I do believe Bradl has a very bright future and his riding is most enjoyable to watch - and he seems like a genuine, decent person. It will be a pity if Marquez, on the best machinery available, eclipses Bradl's quiet achievement simply through a bike advantage.

I read the same article as you guys just did and then I came back I see these comments from his " happy in the position I was in" statement. And spinning that into a rebuttal of his racing ethic somehow.
I read that (still do) as simply being happy about being that close to Dani so he could work out his passing (didnt happen) move.
Do people misinterpret these sorts of things on purpose? Stoner has only to open his mouth and "racing fans" are ready to spin whatever he says into whetever they want it to be. And I dont think his statements are all that obtuse or unclear.
Why's he retiring again?

He was positioning himself to take the lead at the final bend, how on earth is his "win it or bin it" comment, he made previously, inconsistent with the above? It's beyond me as well.

Next year the nay sayers will have no one to blame/criticise/deride... Should be much more interesting, if you like the sound of the Spanish national anthem, playing non-stop!

At which point I will continue to watch, just to see the sublime riding skills of those Spaniards on the 'prototypes', but I will have trouble believing its a 'world championship' when Casey is driving v8s, Ben is riding superbikes, Depuniet can't get a prototype... etc

Casey 'superman' Stoner is leaving the Justice (Just-Us) League of alien racers at the end of the season... truly sad times. Without Casey it's quite obvious that Jorge will dominate the series... watch round 10 again if you don't believe it. Dani is still no match for Jorge! Going to miss the 3 of them battling for the top step of the podium. 9 rounds to go... CS1 can still pull off the upset of the century and take the 2012 number 1 plate home!

What is it about certain people that just jump on everything Stoner says? I will never get it.

He said after the race, "win or bin". He said in this interview.". I crashed and I was very surprised about that, because I was very confident about overtaking."

This guy is tied for fourth in all-time MotoGP/500 wins, and that is while riding a Ducati most of his career. Lorenzo will probably catch his record, but only because Stoner will be gone. Why would you hate on a racer that good? He says similar things to other riders. Should he speak Spanish? Would that help?

Totally offtopic, but I just saw that there is the Laguna Race from onboard perspective available on (you need a subscription though).
Seems like Dorna is learning after all! :)
Now please offer this live during the race, with a multi-feed where users can choose from a number of different camera sources, and overlay it over the television feed.
And offload all pit-box "action" and starting replays to a custom feed, and save the main stream for the racing! :P

Front cam - terrific.
Rear cam - well, if I wanted to look at somebody's butt for a long period, I'd turn gay.
Seriously, unless they can place the rear cam higher it's largely useless.

I second your opinion of the live camera feed found on the Dorna site MOTOGP.COM.

Close to awesome. The sound seemed muted viewed on my computer, so I hooked the RGB cable and audio to my tv and .....whoa. Turned up the volume and gee whiz golly Bubba, that's awesome. I only watched the first three laps and the siting lap but plan to watch the whole race later.

Real bike sounds and NO Speedtv commenters talking about something totally irrelevant while showing the back of the garage area during the race. Actually now that I think about it, the one commentator "Mr Daytona 200" is very informative in his comments, so I retract any disparagement of him in particular. Other than Californians seem to talk "funny".

Jeremy Clarkson/Top Gear was highly amusing in a show he did in the states. He was talking to an American about repairing a super spec wheel off a McLaren or an AMG Merc. I've forgotten which state, but Clarkson was indicating to the camera he had no idea what language the interviewee was speaking. Via my tv audio, I needed a translator.

then a bit more of the same, race after race after race...

They will be the fastest and unless Vale takes the other Yamaha, its the only sound you'll hear post race next year...

I read an interview by Jane Wheatley last week about CS, and initially thought "oh, how honest he is", then it struck me how sad his departure truly is, its all about one word 'loneliness', having raced almost every weekend since he was 4 and having been away from home since he was 14 and without any real close friends either here in Aus or overseas, he feels alone and isolated.

I regret him leaving the sport but I do not begrudge him doing what he feels he needs to do in order to live a happy and fulfilled life. Adios Casey.

In one of today's news papers (a Murdoch publication, so take it with a grain of salt regarding fact) that Redbull are entering the V8 supercar series as the major sponsor of the Triple-8 team, and guess who's rumoured to be one of the drivers, given his long standing relationship with them??

They are saying that CS will start in the 'lites series' and then move to the premier class once he has learned the ropes - which should be about the second race..