MotoGP

SHOCK NEWS: Stoner to leave Ducati

Sorry, did someone just say 'Repsol Honda'?

PLEASE TRY to look surprised: Ducati MotoGP has announced Casey Stoner is to leave the squad at the end of 2010 after four years with the team.

The Australian secured the 2007 MotoGP title with Ducati in the first year the series went to 800cc. Since then Stoner has struggled to replicate the year's blistering form; a recurrent wrist injury plagued his 2008 championship hopes and a mystery medical issue forced Stoner to miss three races in the 2009 season.

Visordown's MotoGP man Mike Scott has predicted Stoner will now head to Repsol Honda. "It's a 99.9 per cent certainty," said MotoGP's No.1 trackside correspondent.

Stoner's final race for Ducati will be at Valencia Grand Prix on November 7th 2010.

“I would like to thank Casey on behalf of our fans and our sponsors, but most of all on behalf of all the people working at Ducati,” commented Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Director. “The victories and emotions he gave us, rewarded all the hard work and sacrifice we made. In these four years together we have had a lot of great moments. Securing the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title and the victory at Mugello in 2009 were moments that we will never forget. In Casey we not only found an incredibly talented rider, but also an honest and loyal guy and that’s why there will always be a strong and sincere bond between us, even as a competitor.”

“I must thank Ducati for giving me such a great opportunity to race and win with them over these past four years” commented Casey Stoner. “They took a gamble when they signed me at the end of 2006 as I was unknown, but as we worked together we were able to win a Championship, many races and challenge for the Championship in the last two seasons. I have now decided to move on and I will have new challenges in the future and different obstacles to overcome, but I will not forget these years with Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work so closely with. So a big thanks to Ducati and all our sponsors who we have shared success with while achieving lifelong goals.”

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