After a mystery illness left Casey Stoner drained and exhausted at the past four races, it was assumed that a return to his native Australia would provide Stoner with a welcome break. The rest, coupled with further consultations with doctors he has worked with before and whom he has much confidence in, would surely allow the 2007 World Champion to return to racing at Brno, if not completely recovered, then at least in better shape than he left the series after Donington.
But apparently, this is not to be. According to the Spanish website Motoworld.es, Ducati will be announcing tomorrow that Casey Stoner will not race at Brno. No one will be brought in to replace Stoner, according to Motoworld.es, something that Ducati would have to do if Stoner to miss the following round at Indianapolis two weeks later.
The report does not cite any definite cause for Stoner's decision to skip Brno, but Motoworld.es is alleging that the problems are mainly psychological, and a question of self-confidence. Stoner underwent a battery of tests after the US GP at Laguna Seca in early July, after which the team announced that the Australian had been diagnosed with mild gastritis and slight anemia. However, at Donington, Stoner denied that this was a problem, telling the press it was so minor as to be irrelevant, and that the problem must have another cause.
Being diagnosed certainly hasn't help solve Stoner's problems. According to Motoworld.es, sources inside Stoner's inner circle are reporting that if anything, his condition has got worse since the Barcelona race, rather than better.
The article goes on to compare Stoner's ailment with that of double world champion Freddie Spencer. In 1985, Spencer won both the 250 and 500cc classes in the same season, and it is said that the mental and physical effort of that year placed such a strain on him that he never fully recovered, and Spencer never won another Grand Prix race again. This however, must surely remain just speculation, and MotoGP fans around the world will surely be hoping that Stoner makes a full and speedy recovery, ready to challenge for victory again soon.