Two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has revealed his chronic fatigue syndrome has worsened since going public about the illness last year, saying he starts a day with only ‘50% energy’ at best.
Champion in 2007 and 2011 with Ducati and Honda respectively, despite a relatively short career – which he concluded in 2012 aged only 27 – Stoner is regarded as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time.
Since then, Stoner has largely stayed out of the limelight with minimal media appearances and track activity reduced to sporadic MotoGP tests.
However, he’d return to the headlines in December 2019 when he revealed he is suffering with a debilitating illness that saps his energy and, by his own description, can leave him bed or sofa-stricken for days at a time.
Nearly a year on, Stoner has told El Mundo newspaper that the illness has since gotten worse, even if he has become better at dealing with it.
“It’s been months in which I felt that my body was deteriorating for no apparent reason: I went to train and came back burst,” he said.
“I thought that I would find a way to cure it, that I would trained more than anyone else and I would have moved on, but I was wrong. But the truth is that this disease is destroying me and I cannot manage it . “
“Now I am a little better, I have learned to manage my energies. I start the day at 50% and the energy goes down until I feel empty.
He also says it has taught him to change his priorities and place greater emphasis on his family life.
“All this has made me rethink my life. On fine days I take the opportunity to play with my daughters and if anything I’m going to play golf.
“I’ve only ridden a motorcycle twice in the last two years and went fishing… well, I don’t even know when was the last time I went there.”
“Marquez would have won title if he returned mid-season”
Despite his personal issues, Stoner has – arguably more than in previous years – put himself more into the public eye with a sharp commentary on the current state of MotoGP.
He’s raised some eyebrows along the way too, criticising Ducati for the way it has handled Andrea Dovizioso’s exit and dismissing this year’s season’s status because it comprised 14 races in Europe (CLICK HERE).
He has also been vocal in his cynicism for the quality of this year’s title race, saying the absence of Marc Marquez through injury left it without a leader.
Now Stoner has doubled down on that assertion, saying Marquez – who was ruled out of the entire season after sustaining an arm injury in the opening round – would have won the 2020 MotoGP title even if he returned mid-way through the year.
“He would have been champion if he had recovered with patience and had run half of the world championship.”