Casey Stoner has now confirmed the report by his Honda team that he will retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season.
The Australian, a two-time MotoGP champion,
had denied speculation about his exit from the sport in the previous
race. He confirmed at Le Mans on Thursday, however, that this will be his last season in MotoGP.
"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," said
Stoner. "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
"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 anymore. 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."
The 26-year-old from New South Wales had made his MotoGP debut in 2006, after finishing runner-up in the 250cc championship the previous year. He moved to Ducati in 2007, taking the title with 10 wins, before switching to Honda at the start of the 2011 season. Stoner won his second championship last year, also with 10 wins.
He is currently leading the championship after having won two of the first three races.