By now you have probably already heard about it, but if you haven't, it is worth catching up with this series of videos of an interview with Casey Stoner on the Gypsy Tales podcast. The original podcast is some 3 hours long (and having not had a spare 3 hours yet, I have not yet listened to the whole thing) but the clips on YouTube are more than worth your while. This is no surprise: when he was in the paddock it was always a pleasure to interview Casey Stoner, as he was the best by far at explaining to laypeople the intricacies of riding a MotoGP bike.
His explanation of Turn 3 at Phillip Island, the corner that would later be named after him, is exemplary in that respect. In one video below, Stoner explains why he risked sliding through Turn 3 at 265 km/h. The objective, he explained was to get the rear stepped out as it made losing the front much more difficult. But the purpose was not to go faster through Turn 3, but to prepare Turn 4, Honda Corner better. Sliding the bike put him on a better line for Turn 4, where he could brake for the corner in a straight line and load the right side of the tire better, massively reducing the risk of crashing at one of the trickiest parts of the Phillip Island circuit.
Stoner goes on to compare that with Turn 3 at Valencia. He would slide the rear at the fast left kink to prepare Turns 4 and 5, the first right handers after a long time spent on the left of the tire. Again, it was about lining up braking for Turn 4, minimizing the risk at the Valencia circuit's crash blackspot.
But as good as his descriptions of riding are, the most insight comes from his struggles with anxiety, and the stress it placed on him. He speaks of laying on the floor of his motorhome, nearly paralyzed by stress, wanting to die rather than race as a result of his fear of failure. A very open and honest insight into the mental struggles elite athletes face at the highest levels of sport. And it makes his decision to retire much more comprehensible.
I have assembled a number of these videos into a playlist, but I highly recommend checking out both this podcast and some of the other interviews done, including with other Australian racing legends such as Mick Doohan and of course Jack Miller.