News 12 Aug 2011

Stoner to become a father, may in fact race Japanese GP

Big news from Australia's Casey Stoner during the Brno press conference.

Aussie Casey Stoner said at Brno that his initial fears of racing in Japan stemmed from news that he's going to become a father.

Aussie Casey Stoner said at Brno that his initial fears of racing in Japan stemmed from news that he's going to become a father.

Australia’s Casey Stoner has revealed at the Brno press conference that he and wife Adriana are expecting their first child later this year.

With the Japan GP in October a continual subject of discussion amongst riders and the media, and with the recent release of the report commissioned by the FIM and Dorna which confirmed that the GP is still scheduled to go ahead, Stoner gave his latest stance on the matter.

“There was a period after Silverstone that I felt very strongly that I wasn’t going to go to Japan after things I’d seen and heard,” he said. “That came from a very strong sense of emotion after we found out that Adriana was pregnant.

“We’ve discussed it a lot since then and that’s a huge thing that’s happened in my life and now the most important. So I felt that the best thing I could do at that time was to make my mind up. There was no way I was going to risk my wife or my family and it was very tough.

“In these weeks I’ve taken a lot of data from Australia, people we feel we can trust on the matter, and I’m now slightly more open to it than I was before. I think people can understand I was taken a little bit with my safety and that of my family in this matter.

“We’ll see in these next weeks, we’ll continue talking and try and find out as much information as we can. I’m not saying that I am going, but I’m not saying that I’m not. So we’ll just have to see what happens in the near future.”

When the other four riders present were asked about their opinions they commented that they would also wait further before making a firm decision, with a riders’ Safety Commission meeting planned for Friday.

Thanks to his impressive win at Laguna Seca last time out – his fifth of the year – Stoner heads into this weekend 20 points clear of defending world champion and closest current rival Jorge Lorenzo in the standings, as he aims to protect his lead at the top of the championship.

“We went into the break with a good result and so far it’s been a fantastic season,” Stoner added. “We’ll now just have to see how this weekend goes and the second half of the season.

“This is definitely one of my top three circuits and I have a lot of fun coming here, I like the area and I’m really ready for this race. I think it’s going to be a good one for us.

“At the moment a few of us are consistently running up at the front and between myself and Jorge it’s a battle week by week to see who takes points off who.”

Stoner will also stay on for the official test on Monday, in which he will continue the development of Honda’s 2012 prototype machine.

“I’m looking forward to another 1000cc test,” he explained. “It’s going to be a lot of fun coming to another circuit. Jerez was a nice test at a track that’s never really suited my style but I did surprisingly well there and we felt good with the bike.

“We’ll see how we go at this test and how it all compares on a different circuit.”