Moto GP Champion Casey Stoner To Retire At Year's End Photo:
Peter Anderson | May, 18 2012 | 2 Comments

At just 27 and with two MotoGP World Championships under his belt, Australian star Casey Stoner has announced he will retire at the conclusion of this year's season.

He said this week that going on for another year would be 'a mistake.'

Speaking at the Le Mans circuit, where he will contest this weekend's French Grand Prix, Stoner says he has lost the passion for racing.

“After a long time thinking, a lot of time talking with my family and my wife, this has been coming for a couple of years now, but at the end of this 2012 season I will be not racing in the 2013 Championship.”

Stoner denied that his daughter Alessandra's birth had much to do with his decision.

"Also the birth of my little girl had nothing to do with this. It had a small part in making the decision easier, but by no means is it the reason why I made this decision."

Citing family as one of the reasons for his retirement, it is likely the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli at last year's Malaysian Grand Prix affected the famously emotional Stoner.

In late 2011, Stoner tested a Triple 8 V8 Supercar and impressed the team with his pace. Asked if the series is in his future, he replied;

"It is something I am definitely interested to do in the future, but whether I will be fast enough or not is another thing."

He believes MotoGP is going backwards by moving away from being a prototype championship, stating that the series no longer holds his interest.

He also took a swipe at the media, who he believes have not been particularly friendly or sympathetic over the years.

"You yourselves, the media, have not exactly been friendly to this championship and criticised me many times, especially recently."

Stoner has also suffered from health problems, leading to his withdrawal from a number of races in the 2009 championship. He has regularly suffered from 'arm pump' problems during races, leading to fatigue and forcing him to slow and sometimes crash.

Born in Kurri Kurri and raised in Southport, Queensland, Stoner first competed at the age of four in dirt bikes.

He went on to win 41 dirt and long track titles and a further 70 state titles. His progression was such that his family relocated to England when he was 14, so he could enter road racing - the legal age in Australia for road racing is 16.

Stoner's first world championship was with Ducati in 2007, scoring ten wins and finishing well clear of second place Dani Pedrosa.

After a crash-strewn 2008 season and the difficult 2009 season, 2010 was his last year with Ducati.

The move to Repsol Honda for 2011 was immediately successful, starting the season in the same dominant style as in 2007 and going on to take the title at Philip Island.

The Australian leads the MotoGP points tally after wins at both Jerez and Estoril and a podium at the season-opener in Qatar. He intends to enjoy the rest of this season and is favourite to take a third championship.

Practice for Sunday's French Grand Prix begins today.

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