Honda reveals Casey Stoner decided to retire after 2011 title

Honda has revealed that Casey Stoner decided 2012 would be his MotoGP farewell as soon he won the '11 title

Honda reveals Casey Stoner decided to retire after 2011 title

HRC chief Shuhei Nakamoto said he spent several months trying to persuade the double world champion to reconsider before Stoner revealed in France last May that he would retire at the end of the year.

"Casey told us [in 2011] that he was thinking to retire at the end of 2012. It was after he won the Australian GP to secure the championship," Nakamoto said.

"He still had one more year to run on his contract with us, so he said he would ride for Honda in 2012, but it was quite a shock to hear he wanted to retire.

"Ever since the season began, he kept saying he wanted to make his decision public. Naturally, we really wanted him to continue with us and repeatedly tried to persuade him to reconsider, but Casey's mind was made up.

"It was at round four in France that he finally got his way and announced his plans during the Thursday press conference. I was OK with that, since I thought it would motivate him to win his final championship and retire in a blaze of glory.

"Unfortunately it didn't turn out like that, but he still had a great final season."

Nakamoto added that Honda would always be willing to have Stoner back if he wanted to return.

"We held a farewell party for him on the Monday night after the Valencia GP," he said. "After the party was over, the two of us stayed on, chatting, and I found I couldn't control my tears. I really felt so sad about him leaving MotoGP.

"The following day I was asked by a number of Casey's friends what I said to him that night. When I asked why they wanted to know, they said that Casey, who had never wavered until then in his decision to retire, had said 'maybe after all I should keep on racing...'

"Right from the first day Casey came to ride for Repsol Honda, pretty much every day he came up with something new that astonished us. I don't know of any other rider that is such fun to work with.

"I hope he quickly recovers from his injury, and if he ever decides to come back he will find a warm welcome waiting. I told him that's always on offer."

shares
comments
Jorge Lorenzo sure he can still improve

Previous article

Jorge Lorenzo sure he can still improve

Next article

Honda believes 2013 will be Pedrosa's last chance to be champion

Honda believes 2013 will be Pedrosa's last chance to be champion
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Author Matt Beer
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar Plus

The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar

The MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Qatar - two years after it last visited the Losail circuit for a race weekend as last season's round was called off. As ever, the pecking order is difficult to map out at this early stage of the season, but perhaps the 2019 race offers some clues as to how things might shake out...

MotoGP
Mar 27, 2021