Julian Simon takes issue with the content of Casey Stoner’s most recent interview on why he chose to exit MotoGP.
Italtrans Moto2 rider and former 125cc champion Julian Simon used a recent interview on Spanish radio to challenge Casey Stoner’s views on how he felt that Marco Simoncelli’s death in 2011 at the Sepang Grand Prix has been brushed aside in favour of aggressive racing.
In the Sunday Telegraph interview Stoner was very specific on the reasons why he had chosen to leave the MotoGP paddock, dismissing injuries and family commitments while citing fan treatment and how he “just fell out of love with the sport ”, however it was the comment that followed which upset Simon:
“We lost a rider a couple of years ago [Marco Simoncelli] and within a month it was like it never happened. They want to see biff and barge and they don’t realise our lives are on the line. “We became puppets in that world, and it had nothing to do with racing.”
Spanish website as.com reported that Simon told radio station Cadena Ser:
“The truth is that I don’t share Stoner’s view. I do not think people have forgotten a rider like Simoncelli … nor Kato and Tomizawa, and hopefully it will never happen again. I do not understand. Stoner has done so much for bikes, but bikes have also done a lot for himand I think eventually Stoner will ride a bike in the MotoGP World Championship. If not officially then sporadically. You’ll see “.
Despite Simoncelli reaching the MotoGP class in 2010 while Simon opted to move back to 125cc to take the title in 2009 the two rivals paths often crossed. They raced each other during the 2002-2005 125cc seasons and again in 250cc for the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. They also carried out promotional work together, most memorably on a trip to feed animals in Australia prior to the Phillip Island race in 2009.
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