Casey Stoner: king of the island
Casey Stoner is one of the most talented motorcycle racers of recent decades. Born Oct. 16, 1985, inSouthport, South Australia, to a family of motorcycle enthusiasts, Stoner began riding a motorcycle at the age of 4, when his parents gave him a minimoto for his birthday. Since that time, Casey has developed a boundless passion for two wheels and has never stopped trying to improve his riding style.
By the age of fourteen, Stoner had won 41 national titles and 70 state trophies. However, age limits prevented him from competing on the track in Australia, so in 2000 his family decided to move to Europe to enable the young driver to participate in international competition-their first destination was Britain. It is a complicated beginning in which the Stoners have to adjust to living in an RV but despite the difficulties, Casey continues to work hard to improve his driving skills and successfully competes in the English and Spanish National Championships from 2000 to 2002.
The debut in the World Championship, 125 and 250
In 2001, Stoner attracted the attention of riders and team manager Lucio Cecchinello thanks to his victory in the English 125 Championship riding an Aprilia.
Thanks to this achievement, he has the opportunity to race as a wild card in the 2001 British Grand Prix at Donington Park, before joining the LCR Racing team as an official rider in the 250 class for 2002. The2002 season is littered with retirements with a fifth-place finish in the Czech Republic as his best performance, Stoner earns 68 points and is 12th overall.
Still with LCR Racing, Stoner jumped back one category and competed in the 125 class in 2003. He has an official motorcycle and his teammate and mentor is Lucio Cecchinello, the team owner. Casey did not disappoint and scored four podiums and a win in Valencia at the end of the season, which earned him eighth place in the championship with 125 points. In 2004, Casey left LCR Racing and moved to Team Red Bull KTM also in the 125 class. He won in Malaysia and finished fifth in the championship with 145 points.
In 2005 he rejoined LCR and raced with L’Aprilia in the 250 class, finishing second behind world champion Dani Pedrosa. He wins five races and it is so far Stoner’s best season in MotoGP, and things are maturing.
Stoner debuted in the premier class in 2006, again with the Honda LCR satellite team. In Qatar, in the second race, he took pole position and finished fifth in the race. The podium is only postponed and at the next race, in Turkey, Casey finishes second.
Casey is noted for speed and crashes, and in the paddock he is given the nickname “Rolling Stoner” in the meantime he collects points and enters among the papal riders of the Ducati led at the time by Livio Suppo.
The championship, due to five retirements, ended with an eighth-place finish in the standings and a total of 119 points.
The Ducati years
In 2007, Casey Stoner switched to Ducati Marlboro; it was the explosive trigger of his full potential with ten race wins and the World Championship. During the 2008 season, Stoner continued to demonstrate his talent with Ducati, winning six races and finishing second overall, behind world champion “the Doctor” Valentino Rossi.
In 2009, Stoner won four more races in Qatar,Italy, Australia and Malaysia and finished fourth in the standings, despite missing a few Grand Prix due to illness , in fact, it is discovered that he is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
In 2010, Stoner had a difficult season due to physical problems and a bike package that was not competitive enough compared to Honda and Yamaha. Despite this, Casey continued to show his talent and won three races, including Phillip Island finishing the season in fourth place overall. Here ends the Ducati interlude: 2011 sees Stoner and Team Manager Livio Suppo team up again at Honda HRC.
The partnership between Stoner and Ducati has been one of the strongest and most successful in modern motorcycling. Stoner scored his first victory with Ducati in 2007, at the Grand Prix of Qatar, and from there began a string of successes that allowed him to win the MotoGP world title in his first season with the Italian team.
During his years with Ducati, Stoner developed a reputation for being the fastest and most capable rider on the track. His ability to ride the Italian motorcycle to the limit and win despite a nervous and difficult vehicle has made him an idol for many motorcycle fans. In addition, his ability to drive in prohibitive or wet conditions made his performance even more impressive.
Ultimately, Stoner’s years with Ducati were a very successful period for both parties. Stoner has proven his talent, and Ducati has found in Stoner a rider capable of taking the bike to its peak performance and winning the premier class world title. Many years and a technical revolution will pass with the entry of Dall’Igna to repeat the feat with Pecco Bagnaia in 2022.
Honda years 2011 and 2012
After four seasons with Ducati, Stoner left the Italian manufacturer to join Honda HRC‘s official Repsol Honda team. The switch to Honda marked a new phase in Stoner’s career, as he continued to prove his talent by winning the MotoGP world title at his first attempt with the Japanese manufacturer in 2011. Ten wins and the title show how much Casey dominated during the season.
In 2012 Stoner continued to ride Honda at a high level, winning five races and finishing third in the championship. At the end of the season, at only 27 years old, Stoner announced his retirement from racing.
The news surprised many motorcycle fans, but Stoner explained that he was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family and focus on other activities.
Overall, Casey Stoner’s career has been characterized by extraordinary talent and aggressive, spectacular riding that has left an indelible mark on the world of two-wheel racing.
Casey Vs Valentino
The rivalry between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi has been one of the most intense and passionate in the history of motorcycling. It all started in 2007, when Stoner switched to Ducati and began challenging Rossi, then the reigning world champion, driving the Yamaha.
Over the course of the season, Stoner scored ten victories, and Valentino, then the undisputed king of the category, resented this awkward and very fast interloper. Rossi won four races that season, still managing to take second place overall, behind Stoner. The rivalry between the two riders intensified in 2008, with Stoner wanting to defend his world title and Rossi ready for anything to take back the crown–and one must add the Corkscrew overtaking.
At the end of the season, Rossi managed to win the world title and Stoner finished second. There was no shortage of skirmishes on the track, and even in terms of statements, the two protagonists poked at each other several times.
The rivalry between the two was also fueled by their different personalities. Stoner was known for being reserved and focused on driving, while Rossi was known for his fun and joking personality, as well as his post-race stunts.
Laguna Seca’s offense
Valentino Rossi ‘s overtaking of Casey Stoner at the 2008 Laguna Seca Grand Prix was one of the most iconic and talked-about moments in motorcycling history, but it also represented the classic straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of Rossi and Stoner’s relationship.
During the race, Rossi and Stoner were battling for the win when on lap 23 Rossi decided to try to overtake at the blind turn known as the “Corkscrew.”
Rossi cut the inside of the corner, running his bike between Stoner’s bike and the edge of the track, and even a little beyond, and took the lead in the race. The overtake was spectacular and thrilled Rossi’s fans, but Stoner disputed the action, accusing Rossi of forcing him to widen his line and wanting him to fall. In fact, Stoner managed to stay on his bike, but he lost some positions.
The overtaking sparked much controversy and discussion among fans and motorcycle experts. Some praised Rossi for his boldness and skill, while others accused the Italian driver of using an unfair and dangerous move. Stoner himself expressed frustration with the episode, but later acknowledged that Rossi had made a great overtake.
Despite the controversy, Rossi’s overtaking of Stoner at Laguna Seca has become one of the most memorable moments in motorcycling history. The action has been included in numerous lists of the best overtakes of all time, and has been described as an iconic image of two of the best riders in motorcycling history challenging each other with courage and skill.
The rivalry between Stoner and Rossi lasted several years, but eventually ended in a relationship of mutual respect. In 2011, when Stoner won his last world title, Rossi complimented his rival and said that Stoner had driven spectacularly during the season.
Physical problems and retirement
Casey Stoner has had some health problems during his career. In 2009, he suffered a series of physical problems, including a viral illness that forced him to miss two races and a hand injury that caused problems during subsequent races.
In 2012, a serious ankle injury during a practice session forced him to miss some races.
However, Stoner’s main health problem has been his struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition, which causes extreme fatigue, muscle pain and sleep disturbances, first affected Stoner in 2009. Despite his efforts to treat himself and continue racing, Stoner continued to struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome for many years.
In 2012, Stoner announced his decision to retire from motorcycle racing at the end of the season. At a press conference, he explained that his decision was due to his struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome and his desire to spend more time with his family. Stoner said his decision to retire was not related to his performance on the track, but was the result of a long reflection on his life and career.
The aftermath of racing, Stoner tests Ducati and tests Honda
After bidding farewell to racing at the end of the 2012 season, Casey Stoner began a new phase of his career as a test driver for Honda and later Ducati.
In 2013, Stoner became a Honda test driver, helping to develop the RC213V and assisting the factory team’s riders in preparing for races.
In 2016, Stoner decided to leave his role as a Honda test rider to join the Ducati team as an official test rider. For Ducati, Stoner continued to work on the development of the Desmosedici GP, using his experience and talent to help the team improve the bike’s performance.
Stoner continued with Ducati through 2018 except for a brief return to the field last year in Portimao in the capacity of Coach for Pecco Bagnaia, who greatly appreciated Casey’s advice to the point of declaring that it would be a nice gift from Ducati to be able to have Casey permanently by the team’s side.
Pictures, top to bottom:
- Box Repsol, July 29, 2012, Jorge Lorenzo, riding his Factory Yamaha, being followed by the Repsol Honda’s of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner at the 2012 United States Grand Prix., Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
- Box Repsol, Photo 2013 de face de Casey Stoner, pilote MotoGP Honda, October 2, 2013, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
- Jerko, Casey Stoner, June 26, 2010, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
- Box Repsol, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi, congratulating each other at parc fermé after finishing in third and second place at the 2012 French Grand Prix, May 20, 2012, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.