Stoner is the best rider in Moto Gp at the moment, the only one who is close is Lorenzo and he is not as fast as Casey, just relentlessly consistent. A great rivalry was starting to develop there too. This is the last thing the sport needs, with the switch to CRT’s and only 3 factory teams and 12/13 proper prototypes; it is basically a two tier championship atm and the races in WSBK are much more exciting.
There are many reasons why Stoner is retiring if you read his interview on Crash
@fixy He’s been racing since he was 4, on the road in Europe since he was 14 which is over 20 years, I can understand him losing his passion particularly now with a young daughter. Moto GP is also more dangerous than F1 and maybe what happened to Simoncelli played a role? Casey also said he wouldn’t want to race the new CRT’s which look to be the future as Moto GP moves away from full prototype racing which would take away the real essence of what MotoGP is about and the challenge of riding prototype machines in his eyes.
Rossi’s demise on the Duke is also not helping, Valentino always realised the importance of the battle for the win at the front and obviously he is such a charismatic guy that fans warm to him. Stoner doesn’t have that, he has a reputation as a moaner and has taken a lot of stick from fans and the media alike about his actions. I mean he got booed by some fans at the British GP at Donington when he won (which was absolutely shocking) but sums up some peoples feelings toward him. He also never got the credit he deserved for sticking that pig of a Ducati up the front time and time again, people said he crashed or won but everyone else who has ridden it including Rossi, Hayden, Capo and Melandri have been nowhere near competitive. There was also a backlash when he dropped out at the end of ’09 with lactose intolerance, he has been hit pretty hard in the media and that clearly has played a part in his decision. He probably feel he doesn’t have anything to prove and doesn’t need this rubbish anymore.
It will basically be Lorenzo and Pedrosa out front now from 2013 onwards, unless some of the young guns step up. If Pedrosa does win a title now though (if he somehow stays fit for a season) it won’t mean as much in my eyes as he will do it when Rossi is on the slide and Stoner gone, a bit like Criville and Roberts Jr did after Doohan retired and Rossi hadn’t come through yet. I thought Spies may be the one to break through but he has been shocking this year, Dovi isn’t a title winner and the rest of the field are just good riders.