HRC boss: No way to change Casey Stoner’s mind on retirement

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Casey Stoner’s Repsol Honda boss Livio Suppo says HRC didn’t try and talk the Australian out of his shock decision to retire from full-time racing at the end of 2012.

Stoner stunned the racing world when he announced on the eve of last weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans his decision to leave MotoGP when he will be aged just 27.

The double MotoGP world champion says he’s lost his passion for racing and is disillusioned with the future direction of the sport.

Stoner’s decision has left HRC reeling and now management have commenced the thankless task of finding a replacement for the 26-year-old, who won Honda’s first world title since 2006 last season.

HRC had offered Stoner a new one-year deal for 2013 rumoured to be at least double his salary to tempt him to delay his retirement, but nothing was going to sway the former Ducati star.

HRC boss Suppo, who has worked closely with Stoner since 2007, told MCN: “I think it is that kind of decision where you can’t force anybody to change their mind. You can try as a company to do what you think is correct to do. But after that if somebody doesn’t want to do it you can’t force them.”

Having worked so closely with Stoner since he signed for Ducati in 2007, had Suppo noticed his love for racing slowly evaporating?

He added: “Honestly since I’ve known Casey since 2007 he has always been a bit like that. He likes racing and hates a lot of other things around it and it is difficult for him to suffer the things he doesn’t like.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt