Motorcycling-Doohan hoping Stoner has a change of mind

Reuters

Sun, 27 May 11:08:00 2012

Casey Stoner might yet be talked out of retiring at the end of the MotoGP season, according to motorcycling great and fellow Australian Mick Doohan.

Speaking to Reuters at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, the five times 500cc world champion said he hoped the MotoGP title holder might have a change of mind despite announcing his departure.

"There's still a long way to go in the season so you never know, he could have a change of heart before the end," said the 46-year-old.

"You never know how determined Honda get to keep him, because the last thing they want is to lose him especially as he's in such a dominant position. It's cheaper to try and retain him at any cost than to try and bring another guy through."

Stoner announced at the French Grand Prix this month that he had lost his love for the sport and would retire at the end of the current championship.

The 26-year-old, who won the 2007 crown with Ducati and 2011 with Honda and is currently second overall behind Yamaha's 2010 champion Jorge Lorenzo, said he had been mulling his decision for a couple of years.

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

Doohan, who won five successive titles for Honda and only retired in 1999 after his broken legs could take no more punishment, said he had been as stunned as anyone to hear the declaration.

While he understood the reasoning behind it, the Australian said he was also puzzled.

"For me it's a bit of a shock, that's for sure," he said.

"He's been there a long time too. Not too many guys join the world championship at 16, so he has been putting in the hard yards there. It's a bit of a shame that he sees it that way but he's the only one who can make that decision."

JOY OF RIDING

"I can understand it and I can't understand it," said the winner of 54 grands prix from 117 starts.

"I can understand that he wants to get rid of the rumours. Even within Honda and so on if he said something there'd be rumours and he'd be forever getting asked about it so he just figured get it out in the open and that'll be the end of it.

"I am just hoping for the sport and for himself as well that he can actually regain the joy of riding," said Doohan, whose five top flight titles have been bettered only by Italians Giacamo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.

The plain-talking rider, who had a sometimes abrasive relationship with the media during his championship years, reminded Stoner that the rough came with the smooth.

"That side of the sport (the media and sponsorship work) is essential to be able to be in that position to ride such a great machine and to be part of such a great championship."

Stoner has been one of MotoGPs leading lights since he moved into the top category in 2006 after winning races in the 125 and 250cc categories.

He was also runner-up in MotoGP in 2008 but missed several races in 2009 due to a mystery illness and has suffered arm problems this year.

"I hope it's not just something he hasn't really thought out too long and hard. Hopefully he will come back and it was just something to try and create a bit more press for himself," declared Doohan.

 

Comment 1 - 8 of 8

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  1. i hope he changes his mind to RETIRE NOW!!! moaner you­ wont be missed by anyone to be a true champ or chump in­ his case you have to be a good loser as well as winner­ or whinner in moaners case

    From skrewdriver, on Wed 30 May 13:37
  2. Though i'm not a fan of Casey, i am a fan of racing­ and no doubt he is really fast on a motogp bike... i­ have to agree with Chris, Casey should get respect for­ his riding skills and not get booed because he makes­ others look less skilled...

    From jomo, on Tue 29 May 19:46
  3. Chris you have said it how it is, he is the only rider­ i can remember ever to be booed on the podium in 50­ years of watching bikes

    From JOHN A, on Mon 28 May 17:44
  4. *typo- he has not tried to build a connection with the­ fans

    From Chris Teape, on Mon 28 May 13:12
  5. I respect Stoner fully for his riding skills and­ ability to push a bike beyond its limits, but thats all­ i can honestly say about him. He has tried to build a­ connection between him and the fans, it seems he­ doesn't really have one with his home fans...­ Before i say what im about to say, i do believe he is­ one of the fastest riders to have ever ridden bike....­ but he has never been a RACER, just a TT specialist.­ Rossi and Lorenzo are way ahead of him when it comes to­ racing attributes

    From Chris Teape, on Mon 28 May 12:51
  6. Shut the fu Doohan, go cry over your spilt milk or is­ that lactose! Pmsl :)

    From pamela, on Sun 27 May 23:49
  7. Maybe Stoner doesn't feel important enough even­ after winning the WDC, now he's doing this to­ become the center of attention. Too much space wasted­ writing about him !!!

    From M, on Sun 27 May 20:18
  8. no...he's gone. i would be too if i was him

    From Tempoe, on Sun 27 May 17:13
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