A Sporting Obituary of Sorts

This morning Australians awoke to the news that a true Australian sporting champion would be leaving the sport in which he reached its pinnacle. Casey Stoner, the 26 year old, two-time world MotoGP champion (2007, 2011) amazed the sporting world when he announced his retirement on Thursday afternoon European time, ahead of the French Grand Prix this weekend.

Both family reasons and the way the MotoGP set-up is heading were cited by Stoner as reasons for his impending retirement at the end of the 2012 season as was a lack of enthusiasm when he fronted the press overnight to explain the move.

It seems a strange move for someone who is again on top of his sport in another year, after finishing 1st in the last MotoGP race which turned out to be, in the latter stages a very competitive race, but the current world champion ultimately prevailed and at worst is looking a good chance to defend the championship he won last year for the first time since 2007 when he won his first.

The Australian Stoner follows in the footsteps, big ones, of 5-time 500cc world champion not to mention his idol, Mick Doohan who won all five of his championship titles consecutively between 1994 and 1998 and would’ve been a good chance to equal the tally of championships that Doohan acquired over his time in the sport.

From now until the end of the season rumours will now abound as to the next move that Casey Stoner will make after his retirement from motorcycles. He might choose to take a year, or more off to evaluate his options and spend time with his wife and their new baby born in February this year before contemplating a possible return to some form of motorsport, whether it be on two or four wheels or behind the scenes on the team or corporate side of things.

If Stoner testing a V8 Supercar in the MotoGP off-season provides any indication, then the 26 year old may well decide to return to Australia full-time and embark on a four wheel career which, even though completely different, for a person of the stature of Casey Stoner, would attract a lucrative salary up there with the long-time champions of the sport like Craig Lowndes.

In the meantime, all eyes will be on Stoner and whether, with the weight off his shoulders, he can power through to the end of the season and win his third MotoGP title and all indications are, despite his lack of confidence in himself and the authorities of the sport, that he will be able to give his title defense a real good shake.

You will be missed in the sport Casey and by lovers of motorsport. It has been and will continue to be a pleasure to watch the way you race, at least until the end of the season.

About Tom Bridge

A perennial student of politics, providing commentary for money and for free. Email me at tbridgey@gmail.com or contact me on 0435 035 095 for engagements.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in A little bit of sport and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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