It has been more than nine years since Casey Stoner’s retirement from MotoGP. After the Australian competed in a Grand Prix for the last time at the end of the 2012 season, he first helped Honda and later Ducati with test work. But in the past few years it has been quiet about the two-time world champion. That had reasons, as the now 36-year-old reveals.
Stoner has suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for years. “I had major health problems. It went so far that I could not move from the couch for five months. The walk from bed to couch was a stress test for me every day,” reports the long-time Grand Prix driver.
“I couldn’t explain what was going on. We couldn’t assess the situation. I had mental problems and was severely limited physically. In the past three or four years I had to learn to deal with the situation. I learned how to deal with the Save energy on a daily basis. I had to learn what sets me back in the long term and what helps me, or rather, what keeps the symptoms within limits, “explains Stoner.
Glimmer of hope and another setback
A year ago, Stoner saw the end of the ordeal. “At the end of 2020 I felt a little better. I was able to control the situation. I was able to get some things done without being done for the next week or two. That was gratifying,” he recalls.
Casey Stoner was already struggling with his health while playing
Photo: Motorsport Images
“But in March / April I experienced another setback. I am a little less optimistic at the moment and go from day to day. I adjust to my feelings. Sometimes I am really exhausted and cannot explain it,” reports Stoner.
“On other days I feel a little better. But I normally don’t have more than 60 percent of my normal energy available,” admits the 2007 and 2011 world champion.
Casey Stoner’s quest to balance MotoGP
In MotoGP, Stoner has fought many exciting duels with greats like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa over the years. “I miss the rivalries because I’ve been my biggest opponent in the past few years,” he said. “I had to learn to manage my energy and I wasn’t really good at anything.”
In the meantime, Stoner had found a balance. “Even after MotoGP, I enjoyed competing with others. I started mountain biking and reached a decent level. I was about to compete in races,” explains the Australian.
“I was not at an absolute top level, but I would have liked to see how it developed. I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it got more and more difficult over time,” regrets Stoner.
With images from Motorsport Images.