World Champion Casey Stoner has announced that he will not race in this weekend’s Czech Grand Prix due to the injuries he received following a qualifying crash at Indianapolis last weekend.
Stoner decided that he should return back to Australia to receive surgery on his injured ankle after receiving medical advice on his injuries. Stoner revealed that his doctors had advised him that he would risk doing permanent damage to the ankle if he raced.
Stoner went into great detail regarding his decision to not race this weekend despite having raced with a modified boot at Indianapolis and finish 4th. “They had to send the disc [with the scans], and they viewed them all day today and decided the worst thing to do would be to keep going in it, to keep riding with it. And the best thing to do would be to get back and have surgery as soon as possible, so that gives us the quickest recovery rate before the end of the season, and hopefully we can get back.
“It was always feeling like it was going to be this decision anyway. I was recommended by everyone not to race on Sunday in Indianapolis, so I didn’t expect the situation to be better here. It’s definitely disappointing; it’s not what we wanted, especially in my last season. We’re coming into a few left hand circuits, and circuits that I prefer to be honest. In the later part of the season you never know what could have happened, but we’ll keep pushing. I don’t regret it [racing at Indianapolis]. I’ve never really followed people’s orders with things like that in the past. But now, if another accident was to happen it would be huge damage. It’s just frustrating to thing what we could have done without this injury.”
Stoner had admitted earlier in the week that he would probably not race this weekend due to the nature of the circuit. He had however said that he would attempt a few laps to assess his fitness. Unfortunately with today’s announcement it means that this would no longer be the case.
The move effectively ends Casey Stoner’s title defence. He had trailed championship leader Lorenzo by 39 points going into this weekend’s race. “It’s disappointing news but it’s finished our championship,” Stoner said in a press conference at Brno. He added, “I’ve lost championships before, so we know what it’s like. We’re pretty much out of it, even going into this weekend. But now that we’re not competing it’s done and dusted. Very frustrating, but life goes on.”
Stoner went on to say that he hoped to return ahead of his home Grand Prix at Philip Island later in the season. “My plan is to come back hopefully a race or two before Phillip Island but I don’t know. To have these kind of disappointments is frustrating, especially in my last year. But that’s racing.”
“I’m not in this championship to finish on a fairytale. I’m not always going to keep waiting for a fairytale ending.”
Stoner joins Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbara on the sidelines following accidents during the Indianapolis race weekend.