Casey Stoner: “The worst that can happen to racing? G…

The two-time MotoGP World Champion made a rare public appearance at the Algarve MotoGP in Portimao this weekend and he has certainly made up for lost time when it comes to voicing his views on a wide variety of topics.

Stoner is known for his direct views, a suspicion forged during his relatively short high-level tenure when he developed an uncompromising relationship with a media company he believed supported arch-rival Valentino Rossi over the year 2012 partly due to the infection with the debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome.

However, he traveled to Portimao as a guest of Ducati and was then followed by journalists everywhere to comment on all sorts of topics.

After wondering questions about his old rival Rossi prior to his retirement next week, Stoner’s attention turned to the current state of the sport after recently believing that the start of electronics and the move to four-stroke confirm his reasons for the Retired at the age of 27.

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However, the 2007 and 2011 MotoGP World Champion saved himself from some criticism of the way the tracks have developed over time with excessive asphalt runoff.

Coupled with the debate over rider standards in the Moto3 World Championship, which will be under particular scrutiny in 2021, he says riders know a mistake or let go of the brakes to overtake – or be overtaken – will not ultimately be penalized, beyond driving farther and accelerating to open again with the loss of minimal time.

“It’s a difficult topic with the young drivers. I think the support has to come more from the race management. There needs to be a bit more clarity or definitive decisions about driving because there have been no problems for so many years and now there is all that leeway. There is no longer any edge of the route, it just goes on.

“It’s limited by some green paint and that doesn’t help the situation. People are no longer afraid because there is no edge of the track. When there was grass everyone kind of looked where they were while now they said, ‘Hey, I passed him and it doesn’t matter, he went off the track, but there’s a lot of track there,’ he began to say.

Describing it as the worst that can happen to motorcycle racing, Stoner says the lack of a “limit” removes the challenge that Moto3 riders should learn.

“I think everyone has to learn to have a little more respect for one another. I don’t think it’s just the young drivers who are causing this. I have a lot of more mature and experienced riders who are still doing the same thing.

“I think it’s all about the penalties and punishments, maybe not harsh enough and maybe not final and clear enough.

“For me, the worst thing that happened to motorcycle racing was that extra run-off. There is no edge of the track, no limit, and I think that makes it harder to contain everyone. “