Casey Stoner has quashed rumors that he could make a return to MotoGP. In an interview with the British magazine Autosport, he says he will not come back to Grand Prix racing while it continues in the direction it is heading in. "I'm closed. I'm done with it," Stoner told Autosport.
There have been persistent rumors that Stoner could come back for a couple of wildcards at the end of the season, though the Australian has denied he would be interested in coming in as a wildcard. More outlandish rumors surfaced a month ago, claiming that Stoner was close to making a shock return to Ducati, and that the Italian company's new German ownership had offered him a large sum to race again. But Stoner told Autosport that there was no truth in either of those rumors, and he had absolutely no interest in a return to MotoGP at the moment.
Stoner's difficult relationship with Dorna bosses, and especially the CEO of Dorna Carmelo Ezpeleta, had left the Australian disillusioned with the politics of the sport. Only a radical change in technical direction might tempt him back, Stoner previously having joked that he might return "if they start racing 750cc two strokes". While the technical rules remain in the hands of the MSMA, that will not happen. He missed riding a bike, Stoner said, but he could do that without going racing. The politics were what kept him away, he told Autosport: "Honestly the rest of it was too far out for me to want to, or think about, going back."
He still followed the sport, Stoner told Autosport, but only as a casual fan. His loyalty lay with the team, he said, and the mechanics he had worked so closely with during his years at Ducati and Honda.