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May 17, 2012

Updated: Stoner Says He Will Retire At The End Of The 2012 Season

Casey Stoner.
Two-time and defending MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner announced today at Le Mans, in France, that he will retire from professional motorcycle road racing at the end of the 2012 season, according to a report appearing on the official MotoGP website.

"After a long time 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," Stoner, age 26, was quoted as saying during the official pre-event press conference. "I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP, and go forward in different things in my life.

"After so many years of doing this 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 at this point, this sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it. I don't have the passion for it and so at this time it's better if I retire now.

"There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won't be continuing any more. It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now."




More, from a press release issued by Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

FANS CAN SEE ONE OF STONER'S LAST RIDES IN AUGUST AT IMS

Two-time MotoGP World Champion retiring after this season

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 17, 2012 - Red Bull Indianapolis GP fans can see one of the final races of the illustrious motorcycle racing career of two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner on Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Stoner announced May 17 that he will retire after the 2012 season.

Stoner, 26, from Australia, is the reigning World Champion with the Repsol Honda Team. He also won the championship in 2007 with the Ducati Team and is one of only five riders to win titles with different manufacturers since the World Championship started in 1949.

"After a long time 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," Stoner said. "I will be finishing my career at the end of this season in MotoGP and go forward in different things in my life.

"After so many years of doing this 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 at this point, this sport has changed a lot, and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it. I don't have the passion for it, and so at this time, it's better if I retire now."

Stoner won the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at IMS en route to the championship. He leads the 2012 World Championship by one point over 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, 66-65, entering the Grand Prix of France this weekend at Le Mans.

Stoner has won 35 races since his premier-class debut in 2006.

2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at www.imstix.com , by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.imstix.com. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbull.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

At Thursday's pre-event press conference at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, Repsol Honda Team's Casey Stoner surprised the racing world by announcing his retirement at the end of the 2012 MotoGP™ season. At the same time Valentino Rossi confirmed he will be continuing in the sport for at least another two years.

Stoner had previously dismissed his retirement plans as rumours, however he has now publicly stated that he will not continue racing past the end of the 2012 season. He said: "After a long time 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 in different things in my life.

"After so many years of doing this 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 at this point, this sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it."

"There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won't be continuing any more. It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now."

As for the race in Le Mans, Stoner hopes to resolve the chatter issues which have plagued him throughout the season so far: "The last two races we've struggled a little bit with chatter, especially the last two, and it's something we want to really reduce so we have to work hard here."

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo, who lies just one point behind the reigning world champion was shocked by the Australian's announcement: "It's a surprise for me, for everyone. I didn't expect it. I heard the rumours and I thought there was a possibility, but I thought he would continue next year. Now he has told us, it's not good news for MotoGP I think, but his decision is to live quietly with his family and we must respect his decision."

He will be looking to snatch back the lead in the championship this Sunday at a track he really enjoys: "Le Mans is one of my favourite tracks. Since my first ever-front row in 2003 I have always had good results, so I'm happy to be here."

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow saw the lighter side of Stoner's announcement: "With Casey making that announcement, maybe he can slow down and let me have a place in the top three. They [the aliens] don't make many mistakes. Maybe they need to change what they have for dinner the night before or something."

And following a race to forget at Le Mans last year for the team, Crutchlow is looking to carry his good form this season into this round: "I'm looking forward to it, yet it can always throw a few things with the weather. I think we've had some not so bad performances this year, although Estoril was disappointing. We really struggled a little bit with the set-up, and maybe a little bit with myself. But hopefully we can get on with it this weekend at Le Mans."

Valentino Rossi also had some big news as he announced he would continue racing a further two years past 2012, yet not before commenting on Stoner: "Yes, it's a big surprise. I think it's bad news for all the MotoGP world because at the end of the season maybe we're losing one of the great riders and a great rival. Is negative, but it's his own decision. For me it's very difficult to understand where my retirement news started from, as I never spoke about my retirement. I want to race in MotoGP for the next two years for sure."

Le Mans was the place of his only podium with Ducati last year, which he is taking confidence from: "I have had some bad results in Le Mans, but also good memories from the past. We had a not so bad weekend in Portugal and we'll try and continue on that way and try to improve our performance to try and get closer to the guys in front of us. Last year was the best result with the Ducati, so we are optimistic."

Rounding out the event was local CRT rider Randy de Puniet: "It's a very important race for me, even if this year I don't have the bike to be at the top. But top CRT. I think for the CRTs it will be a difficult track because you have two or three big accelerations, like on the back straight, but you never know what happens with the weather conditions. I hope to be 100% on the bike after my crash at Estoril, because I still have a lot of pain in my ribs. I really hope to be the first CRT this weekend in front of my home crowd."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

2012 FIM MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
ROUND 04, THURSDAY, MAY 17, LE MANS, FRANCE


STONER ANNOUNCES HE IS TO RETIRE AT THE END OF 2012

Reigning MotoGP World Champion and 2012 points
leader Casey Stoner stunned the MotoGP paddock at
Le Mans this afternoon when he announced his
retirement. The 26-year-old will stop racing
motorcycles at the end of this season.

The Repsol Honda rider cited personal reasons for
his decision, as well as suggesting that MotoGP's
new direction with the introduction of
lower-cost and lower-performance CRT machines for
some riders also played a part.

"This has come after a long time of thinking and
talking with my family and my wife," he said.
"It's been coming for a couple of years now. At
the end of this season I will finish my career in
MotoGP and follow different things in my life.
After so many years of doing the sport I love,
for which myself and my family have made so many
sacrifices, this sport has changed a lot and it's
changed to the point where I'm not enjoying it. I
don't have the passion for it, so it's better if
I retire now. It'd be nice if I could say I'll
stay one more year but then when does it stop, so we decided to finish.

"My decision isn't going to change anything this
season. We still want to win races and we'll
still put in 110 per cent of effort and maybe even more

"I've been watching this championship for a long
time and it's easy to see what works and what doesn't.

"There are many, many different reasons but
basically it's me losing my passion for the
racing and my enjoyment for the sport. Sure, I'm
going to enjoy this year but I'm sure if I continue it would be a mistake.

"There's many things I'd like to do with my life.
I don't want to keep racing bikes to the point
where I lose my passion for motorcycles. I love
bikes, they've been my whole life, and if I keep
doing this I'm afraid I'll completely lose my
passion. Maybe I'll still have some involvement
in the sport, if I can find the energy, to maybe
help some young riders, things like that.

"We've had a great career, we've had some
fantastic races and I feel even after my first
championship in 2007 I'd already reached my goal.
This was my dream: to be World Champion. It's
been a difficult up and down road but a fantastic
one. I won't have any regrets."

The Australian started racing in dirt track
competition when he was four-years-old. A
multiple state and local champion, his family
moved to Britain when he was 14 so he could start
racing on tarmac. He won a British roadrace title
at his first attempt in 2000 and made his
Grand Prix debut in the 250cc class in 2002, when
he was 16 years old. He won five 250 GP victories
and two 125 GP victories before graduating to
MotoGP in 2006, with LCR Honda. The following
year he won his first MotoGP victory and the
world title with Ducati. He has won 35 races in the premier class.