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Monday, October 29, 2012

Goodbye Casey Stoner, King of Phillip Island

Yesterday was a day Casey Stoner will never forget as 53,000 of his adoring fans came to witness their hero race one more time on his favourite track.  And seeing him win again for the sixth time was almost too much, and the eurphoria in the crowd was palpable.

Even though there is one more race to go, Lorenzo is so far ahead on points, he wins the MotoGP championship for the second time.  There was speculation that Stoner may not finish the season but he will compete in the final race in Spain in a fortnight.  "I'm going to Valencia to see if I can get another good result" he said.

Jorge Lorenzo, new world champion

And he doesn't plan on coming back.  "I've got no thoughts whatever at this time of ever even thinking of coming back" he said.

Championship contender Dani Pedrosa started well but slid out on Honda Corner in lap three and retired from the race.  "It's a sad feeling more than disappointment, I pushed as hard as I could, I did what I had to do and I have no regrets for my riding, especially this season."

After the race, Lorenzo said "Casey was in another world. I have a lot of respect for him because he is probably the most talented rider I have ever seen, we will miss him a lot."

Stoner said "I have so much respect for Dani and Jorge, I've been racing them my whole career - and we've been challenging each other and fighting with each other for many years so there will definitely be something missing inside sometimes."

Stoner won two World Championships (2007 and 2011) and achieved 38 premier-class wins.  Yesterday's race was 27 laps, his race number is 27 and this month he turns 27.

Dani Pedroza

Nobody really knows why Stoner is retiring.  Some say he's lost his passion for the sport, others think he wants to spend more time with family.  Honda has tried everything to change his mind and it's rumoured they offered him $15 million to race in 2013.

Goodbye Casey Stoner and thanks for the ride.