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Two-time world motorcycle champion Casey Stoner has announced his retirement from the sport, making 2012 his last season.

The 26-year-old Australian rider cited “family reasons” for his sudden departure when he broke the news at a press conference in Le Mans yesterday ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

“After a long period of thought and numerous discussions with my wife and family, I have decided to stop competing at the end of the season,” the Honda rider said.

“I no longer have the passion to continue and I think that it is best to stop.”

Whether Stoner’s recent forearm cramping issue has been a factor or if time with wife Adrianna and daughter Alessandra played a greater part only Stoner knows, but regardless, his skill on two wheels will never be questioned.

Stoner has accrued a MotoGP record that so far includes 35 race wins, 35 pole positions and two world championship titles: 2007 on a pre-Audi-owned Ducati and 2011 with Honda.

The retirement might lead Stoner towards four wheels and a steer in a V8 Supercar following tests with Team Vodafone in December, with Stoner saying, “I have tested the V8 car, and that is something we have been trying to do for the last two or three years, to be honest, and finally it happened. So there is no coincidence to it whatsoever.”

“It is something I am definitely interested to do in the future, but whether I will be fast enough or not is another thing.”




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