When he retired from MotoGP at the close of the 2012 season, Casey Stoner made it very clear why he no longer wanted to race. The reasons, in no particular order, were:
The media: Stoner resented members of the media intruding by asking him questions, asking for interviews and also for printing lies about him when he took several races off in 2009 while he suffered with what was ultimately diagnosed as lactose intolerance.
CRT: Stoner thought that Claiming Rule Teams and motorcycles demeaned and degraded the full prototype championship. Stoner later said that having the top CRT finisher in victory circle after a MotoGP race was “not what I signed up for”.
Some Fans: Stoner being booed while on stage at a Day of Champions celebration was probably a seminal moment in his career and ultimately his decision to no longer race. Also, he suggested that a fan may have spit on him, and additionally he was clearly irked by the fact that some fans who came to the track and were not his fans. (Clearly Stoner never sought nor did he enjoy a connection with fans in the way that Valentino Rossi and others do.)
Knowing these things, it’s easy to poke holes in any story suggesting that Stoner is contemplating a comeback, either in Grand Prix or to race the 8 Hours of Suzuka, the latter of which is the latest rumor.
Which of the factors above have changed since Stoner retired? None. The media responsibilities for the top MotoGP men remain substantial. CRT has trotted a long path to the point where Honda now sells a production version of the RC213V, and MotoGP has a subclass of motorcycles in the MotoGP class with special tires, electronics and fuel allotment. Racing against Ducati whereby Ducati is granted unique rules is probably not going to be something Casey Stoner is going to “sign up for”. Fans? Stoner remains a hugely respected rider, but seemingly some of his bleacher-bound critics don’t want to see him back racing, perhaps finding his criticism unwelcome.
Publicly, Stoner retired from racing for specific reasons, and those factors haven’t really changed at all.
The 8 Hours of Suzuka might be a novelty for a retired rider like Stoner. Fueling the flames: Stoner has tested a CBR1000RR and he liked the experience of tossing around a production bike.
(It’s well known that Casey Stoner likes spending time in America and always said that American fans were some of his favorites. If Stoner is indeed looking to do some racing without the MotoGP flashbulbs, where a rider can do his laps and his racing in near obscurity without the media barstool crewchiefing him, and be back on the fishing boat on Monday morning, then perhaps Wayne Rainey should call him.)