Lorenzo to party as Stoner retires
VALENCIA - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoThe Valencia MotoGP brings the curtain down on both the 2012 season and Australian legend Casey Stoner’s glittering career on Nov. 11.
Although the drivers’ titles have been decided in all categories the season-closer provides fans with a chance to appreciate Stoner’s final race before retirement.
There should also be several all-Spanish battles in front of the home fans as Honda rider Dani Pedrosa gets a last chance to outwit MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo after his crash in Australia handed the Yamaha man his second world title after 2010.
Pedrosa, who has won global crowns at 125cc and 250cc levels, has also won five times in Valencia over the past ten years but saw his chances of winning this year’s title went up in smoke on the second lap in Australia when he was leading.
The 27-year-old needed to finish ahead of Lorenzo and trailed by only 23 points in the standings at the start but will instead settle for the runner-up spot.
Meanwhile Stoner, who shocked the sport when he announced he was retiring at the end of the season after winning MotoGP titles in 2007 and 2011, leaves the circuit on a mixed note after declaring this week that he had “lost respect for the sport.”
Stoner is looking forward to the simple things in life.
“The problem is not my passion, it’s the passion which is missing on the circuit, the one I found as a kid and which made me commit to the sport all these years,” Stoner told www.panorama.it. “There are many reasons why I’m quitting, one day I will explain everything.” He added: “If I had to say in a few words, I’d say I’ve lost my respect for the championship and I don’t agree with the direction it has taken.”
Although only 27, Stoner says he is happy to spend more time with his wife and daughter Alessandra Maria.
It has also been a modest season for two-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi who is looking for his first win of the campaign on what has been an underperforming Ducati for the Italian.