Two-time Australian motorcycling champ Casey Stoner announced today that this MotoGP season will be his last, stating that he has lost the passion to race.
The decision stems from the recent birth of his first child, a daughter, in February. He officially put the decision down to “family reasons” but he wants to spend more time with his young family.
"After a long period of thought and numerous discussions with my wife and family, I have decided to stop competing at the end of the season," he said.
"After so many years taking part in this sport that I love, and with all the sacrifices that I have had to make, I no longer have the passion to continue and I think that it is best to stop."
Stoner’s contract with Honda is set to expire at the end of the current season and he has been fairly critical of the direction MotoGP has taken in recent years.
MotoGP changed bikes from 800cc 1000cc this year, a decision that resulted in major teams such as Kawasaki and Suzuki dropping out of the Grand Prix. He has also been battling with arm cramps which affect his breaking.
Stoner, the winner of 35 Moto GP races and winner of the 2007 and 2011 world titles, stated that his family had not hindered his racing ability, noting that he won the championship the year he was married and that he won a second time the year he and his wife found out that they would be having a child.
The 26-year-old denied that he was considering retirement at his last race and is currently on top of the MotoGP leader board with wins from two of the first three races.