Casey Stoner has a complicated relationship with Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Frequently hailed as one of the most talented riders of all time, the Australian rider captured two MotoGP championships (with two different manufacturers). That success wasn’t accompanied by happiness, however, with Stoner revealing that he suffered from mental distress and debilitating anxiety throughout his Grand Prix career.
The former Ducati and Repsol Honda rider’s health only dwindled following his MotoGP retirement at the end of the 2012 season. By 2019, number 27 announced that he was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), better known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The condition severely limited Stoner’s activity level, but the 36-year-old recently shared more optimistic news in an Instagram post.
If you’re an ardent follower of Stoner’s social media accounts, you’d know that the two-time premier class champ has been touring Europe with his family this summer. After a quick trip to Greece, the Aussie headed to Alpinestars headquarters in Asolo, Italy.
Seemingly in high spirits, Stoner announced that he's “slowly been feeling better over the last few months.” He also noted that it was his “first time being measured (for a race suit) in 12 years.”
While we’re elated to see the MotoGP Legend on the mend, Stoner’s post also fueled speculation about his next chapter. Following an illustrious Grand Prix career, the retired rider briefly tested Honda’s MotoGP prototype before becoming an official Ducati test rider from 2016 to 2018.
Neither Ducati nor Honda have acknowledged any future partnerships with Stoner, but he attended both the 2021 Algarve and Valencia Grands Prix as a special guest of the Ducati Factory team. Of course, maintaining a relationship with the Bologna brand doesn’t amount to a looming business pact.
Arguably, Honda could use the most help in the MotoGP paddock, as all Big Red riders struggle for results in 2022. That doesn’t mean that number 27 will take on a Honda test riding role, though. In the end, Stoner could don the new Alpinestars suit on a Grand Prix circuit or at a local track day, we’re just happy to see a smile on Casey’s face again.