Stoner departs MotoGP with no regrets

Casey Stoner will head into retirement with no regrets.

Australia's two-time world champion says he has "lost respect for the championship" and doesn't like the way it's headed.

Fittingly, Stoner ensured he would start his last race on the front row of the grid when third fastest in qualifying for the season-closing Valencia MotoGP in Spain.

His Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa showed his love for his home track as he claimed his fifth pole position of the season, edging out new world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Sitting third in the championship behind Lorenzo and Pedrosa after an injury-marred season, 2007 and 2011 world champion Stoner had looked to be a pole contender for most of the session.

A week after winning at his "home" Phillip Island circuit for the sixth time, Stoner was looking forward to the simple things in life.


"The problem is not my passion, it's the passion which is missing on the circuit, the one I found as a kid and which made me commit to the sport all these years," Stoner told earlier in the week.

"There are many reasons why I'm quitting - one day I will explain everything."

He added: "If I had to say in a few words, I'd say I've lost my respect for the championship and I don't really agree with the direction it has taken."

Although only 27, Stoner says he is happy to spend more time with his wife and daughter.