Despite being retired now for seven seasons, Casey Stoner continues to fascinate MotoGP fans. Perhaps precisely because he did retire at the end of 2012, at the relatively tender age of 27. Stoner has never been keen on the media, but on rare occasions, grants a brief insight into what is going on in his world.
So it was a delight to discover that Stoner has spoken to Australian broadcaster and journalist Greg Rust, on his Rusty's Garage podcast. The conversation is in two parts, of around 40 minutes each. It spans the entirety of Stoner's career, from the very early beginnings in Australia, through the heights of MotoGP, to his retirement, racing in V8 Supercars, testing with Honda and Ducati, and his present life away from racing.
Both parts of the interview are well worth a listen. Stoner clearly trusts Greg Rust, and is very frank about his life and career then and now. The first part covers Stoner's early career all the way up to his time with Ducati in MotoGP. He talks about his motivation, what drove him to focus so hard on racing, and what drove him to try to succeed. Stoner talks about the sense of shame he felt when he didn't succeed, and how that forced him to try to improve.
Stoner gives fascinating insights into the mental side of racing, of working out what works and what doesn't, and how building a base of fitness and skill through training helps carry you through the hard times and towards success.
Stoner also talks at length about the difference between road racing and dirt track, how he made the transition, and goes through the many people who inspired and helped him through some incredibly tough times. He also discusses the sudden onset lactose intolerance in 2009, and how the way that Ducati handled that situation pushed him toward Honda. And he talks about the different bikes he rode, and how the Ducati 800 was a very difficult bike to ride.
In the second part, Stoner talks about how the commercial side of racing had pushed him toward retirement, about the many sponsor duties made racing difficulty. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the interview is when Stoner goes into deep detail of how he managed to go so fast through Turn 3 at Phillip Island, a corner which now bears his name.
Stoner also talks about the severity of the injuries he has suffered through the years. About a shoulder injury he picked up very early in his dirt track career, which he carried through his racing, about the ankles he destroyed in the 2012 season, which prevent him from running to this day.
Stoner discusses his rivalry with Valentino Rossi, how it started and how he saw Rossi's attempts to stoke that rivalry. He talks about what he learned from that rivalry, and how it made him stronger after 2008. He talks about his time in V8 Supercars. And he finishes up talking about the chronic fatigue he is suffering, and his pursuit of a cure.
It is a fascinating interview, and well worth a listen.