In a shock announcement, Casey Stoner has told the pre-event press conference at Le Mans that he has decided to retire at the end of 2012. Citing "disappointment with the direction MotoGP is going," according to MCN's Matt Birt, Stoner told a shocked press conference that he will not be racing in MotoGP beyond 2012. The Repsol Honda rider said the decision had nothing to do with the birth of his daughter, and everything to do with losing his passion for racing.
The announcement comes just two weeks after he denied reports in Spanish magazines that he would be retiring at the end of the season. At Estoril, Stoner said that he had not made any decisions about retiring, and was still in talks about a new one-year contract with HRC. He even rubbished the reports, claiming that people "should not read what you [the Spanish journalist in question - DE] publish." However, sources close to Stoner intimated that he had not made up his mind at all, and that what had troubled him most about the publication was that by being forced to deny it, it would make it difficult for him to make a calm decision on his own. In the end, it appears, Stoner decided that the direction racing was going was not one he was prepared to follow.
More news as it comes in.