If you are in the know, this is not news. Casey Stoner had his final MotoGP ride at Valencia last weekend. It was one of those races which presented multiple challenges at the feet of the MotoGP riders. A little rain in motorsports does not mean – no play – we leave that for frustrated cricket fans! Rain in motorsports intensifies the viewing pleasure and in Valencia, the final race of the 2012 season, if fans asked for more than that which was delivered on-track, the organizers would have sufficient basis to ‘group dem up’ and hurl the sorry lot into the Unreasonable file!
Valencia had it all and when the heavenly sprinkle ceased, the Repsol Honda pair Pedrosa and Stoner left their sponsors with jaw-stretching grins of approval and appreciation (they finished P1 and P3 respectively).
So, Casey Stoner who said he was tired of what MotoGP had to offer, grabbed his exit pass and kissed his Honda goodbye. Will he be missed? Absolutely! Stoner has won it all and even though I discovered him late in the game, my thanks to Youtube will never end – the man is/was a demon on 2 wheels. And I am willing to go this far – Valentino Rossi is good but Casey Stoner is/was the man!
But, as one door closes, another is flung wide open – a jumbo jet can fly through! With Stoner’s departure a glorious opportunity beckoned. Rossi has given up the fight at Ducati. There will be no Italian World Champion aboard an Italian machine – at least for now. Stoner poured scorn on Rossi’s camp for their final decision based on what they had suggested they could accomplish at Ducati (and I agree). So, Rossi will return to Yamaha to see if he can regain what was lost. So we have the Rossi-Lorenzo, no holds barred fights to look forward to.
But, I am more excited about this prospect, than I am about Rossi’s return to Yamaha. When Stoner decided to retire his leathers Repsol Honda bosses pulled the ace from the deck and called an amazing young talent. Ladies and gentlemen, I present, Marc Marquez.
With Stoner riding off into the sunset we have lost arguably the best MotoGP rider of his era, but in Marc Marquez, the premiere series and the riders on the grid will have to defend against a rider who brings a machine gun to a knife fight when he sits on a machine. He has an aggressive, cut-throat, win-only mentality that stirs a massive emotion-pot. With him on the grid we may need to keep sedatives next to the TV to keep us calm during the races!
How do you think Marc Marquez will perform against the ‘big boys’?
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer