MotoGP champion Casey Stoner said Thursday that he had lost his love for the sport and that he would retire after the season of 2012.
The Australian won the title 26 years with Ducati in 2007 and 2011 with Honda, and currently leads the standings by a point on the Spanish Jorge Lorenzo on the eve of the fourth race of the season to be held this weekend.
“I’ve been thinking long, long time talking to my family and my wife, this comes from a couple of years,” Stoner said in a press conference at Le Mans, where he held the French Grand Prix.
“It will be the end of my career and the end of the MotoGP season, and an evolution for many things in my life.”
“After many years playing the sport I love, and by that I and my family have sacrificed so much, after so many years trying to get where we have arrived at this point, the game has changed, and changed to the point no longer enjoy it.”
“I have a passion for this sport, so, at this point, I’d better retire.”
Stoner became the first category in 2006, claiming his first “pole position” in his second race in Qatar, and the following year won his first MotoGP race of the way before taking the championship.
Finished second in 2008 but missed several races of the season following a mysterious illness, and their fate only changed when he joined Honda in the 2011 season.
“There are many things that have disappointed, and also many things I loved about this sport … but unfortunately the balance has been in the wrong direction,” he added.
“It would be nice it could be another year, but then, when would stop? So we decided to end this way.”