MotoGP's Stoner dismisses quit rumours

Published Monday, 10 September 2012
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Reigning MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has dismissed speculation he's set to retire sooner than planned, after an operation on the injured ankle that will see Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea replace him for two rounds.

MotoGP's Stoner dismisses quit rumours
Jonathan Rea, pictured racing Casey Stoner's bike during MotoGP tests in Brno. (© Getty)

Rea faced frustration at the Nürburgring in Germany at the weekend, crashing out of the first race before picking up a fourth place in the second.

"It's been frustrating again because we had top five pace for race one but, looking at the data, I made a mistake in the corner before the crash," the Ten Kate Honda rider told his website.

"I arrived at a slower speed, but I was carrying a bit more lean angle than on the previous lap - so it was a strange crash, but it was a mistake.

"Race two was okay at the beginning and we were fortunate that two of the front guys crashed out, which gifted us a couple of positions."

His fellow Co Antrim rider Eugene Laverty fared better on his Aprilla, coming in second in both races.

Rea is placed fifth in the World Superbike standings and will now replace Casey Stoner in two rounds at Misano and Aragon.

Stoner announced earlier this year that he would retire from racing at the end of this season and has now insisted he has no plans to bring that date forward.

"My goal is to get back on the bike, for it to end like this would be a disaster for me," the 26-year-old Australian said, while recovering from specialist surgery back home in New South Wales.

"I'll see it through to the end. I'll be back as soon as I can to finish as many races as I can before the end of the season."

But Stoner had to admit that, even after the operation, his ankle is unlikely to ever fully recover.

The final race of his impressive career will be at the Valencia GP in November, but the one he definitely won't want to miss will be his home race at Phillip Island at the end of October.

© UTV News
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