An ‘historic’ moment occurred at the MotoGP Algarve, Portimao, Portugal, on Saturday (6/11/2021). Two fierce rivals, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner , met again and this time the meeting took place in a peaceful atmosphere. The two riders even took photos together and uploaded the results to social media.
After ceasing to be a Ducati test rider at the end of 2018, Stoner has not visited MotoGP yet. However, he was finally back in the Algave Series as a guest of Ducati. He also took the time to meet other riders. Stoner even visited the Petronas Yamaha SRT team truck to meet Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso.
Prior to the encounter, via GPOne on Friday (11/5/2021), Rossi had admitted that he really wanted to meet Stoner again because he would retire at the end of this season. I had fun fighting him,” said the nine-time world champion.
“It’s nice to remember those duels, because beating him was very difficult. He was a fast and talented rider. We challenged each other for titles. Sometimes I won, sometimes he won. But it was very fun, even though those times were different from now, ” he said.
Too Many Memories
Through Instagram Story, Rossi also uploaded his photo with Stoner, as well as the three photos with Dovizioso. Rossi was touched, because the three of them often fought together for the world title, before Stoner retired early at the age of 27 at the end of 2012.
“What a pleasure, Casey! Non ce la faccio, troppi ricordi! (What an honor, Casey! I can’t stand it, too many memories!)” Rossi wrote, adding a crying emoji.
Stoner himself had a special press conference on Friday. He recalled the controversial collision incident with Rossi at Jerez in 2011. At that time Stoner launched a sarcastic sentence to Rossi that many people still remember, namely ‘your ambitions outweight your talent’ .
A Tough Rivalry But Also Fantastic
Through MotoGP.com, Stoner admitted that he didn’t think his sentence would shake the paddock. The man from Australia admitted that at that time he was very angry, but soon he was no longer angry with Rossi. Since retiring, Stoner has also changed his views on Rossi, and admits that he has always respected the Italian rider.
“We are very tough rivals, but our rivalry is also fantastic, in good or bad condition. I learned a lot from Vale, I’m sure he learned a lot from me too. race without rivalry. Vale and I have never had to play dirty, but only until the comments war, “he said.
“Over time, our perspective changed. I don’t have any hatred for Vale. I have always had great respect for him, because I couldn’t have been in the top flight without my rivals. There was nothing between us over the years, but obviously I enjoy our rivalry. We had so many fantastic races, “concluded Stoner.
Also Read :
Ducati confirms Casey Stoner is back in Valencia, denies being a racing coach
Ducati Corse Sporting Director , Paolo Ciabatti , officially announced that the 2007 and 2011 MotoGP world champion , Casey Stoner , will return to accompany his squad in the Valencia Series at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Spain, 12-14 November. Ciabatti conveyed this in an interview with MotoGP.com.
After ceasing to serve as a Ducati test rider at the end of 2018, Stoner has not visited the MotoGP paddock yet. However, he finally returned in Seri Algave, Portimao, Portugal, 5-7 November. He was a guest of Ducati, and took the time to meet many MotoGP figures, including Valentino Rossi.
On the sidelines of his visit, Stoner was also busy accompanying the Ducati Lenovo Team duo, Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. He even seemed to be the racing coach of the two riders, observing their performance both from the television screen and from the edge of the track. Uniquely, in the race, Bagnaia won and Miller finished third.
Help Bagnaia and Miller Give Good Advice
Ciabatti can also understand why Stoner’s sudden presence has shocked the MotoGP paddock, especially since he seemed serious in guiding Bagnaia and Miller. This Italian man did not deny that Stoner’s assistance was very helpful for the two drivers.
“There has been a lot of talk about Casey, and obviously he has helped our riders with some analysis for several areas. Especially on Saturday, between sessions, he has given some good advice,” said Ciabatti on Monday (11/8/2021). ).
However, Ciabatti believes this good result was achieved mainly thanks to the hard work of the two riders. “It’s always nice when our garage is visited by a world champion and a good friend like Casey. However, I think the credit goes to Pecco and Jack for their efforts and talent,” he said.
Casey Stoner has no plans to return to Europe
Ciabatti also responded to rumors that Stoner will be Ducati’s racing coach next year, given that Bagnaia and Miller have publicly pleaded with their team to sign the Australian. However, Ciabatti believes Stoner has no plans to return to live in Europe after his early retirement at the end of 2012.
“We would also be happy if he wanted to be our racing coach. However, I don’t think Casey has any plans to move to Europe, because as you know, he has a family, two young daughters, and I think that’s his priority.” said the former WorldSBK Sporting Director.
“I think he is happy to be back in the paddock after a long absence. He will be back with us in Valencia. So, we hope he can bring us luck again there,” concluded Ciabatti.