casey-stoner-legenda-2013Sâmbătă, 19 octombrie 2013, la 3 zile după ce a împlinit 28 de ani, Casey Stoner a intrat oficial în rândul legendelor motociclismului, un lucru care a fost stabilit la sfârșitul sezonului trecut, când Carmelo Ezpeleta, președintele executiv al Dorna, firma care organizează Campionatul Mondial de Motociclism, i-a propus acest lucru dublului campion mondial australian: „It is a great pleasure to have Casey here with us today and to be able to introduce him to the Hall of Fame of MotoGP™ Legends. Casey has been an incredible rider for us and is really a Legend all around the world. I really appreciate having him here.

We talked last year in Valencia, at the end of the championship; I proposed it to him, he said he would be very happy to do it and we agreed to do it here. Phillip Island is the place to do it and we are very happy and proud to see Casey and his family here. It is very important. Casey is part of our history and must be here.”

După cum a mărturisit, Casey a fost surprins și, evident, încântat de idee, și ca urmare n-a respins-o: „It is very special. It almost seemed a bit unrealistic when I was offered this, but I am not going to turn it down either.

I appreciate being put alongside riders like that, even though sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve to be there. I am very proud of the achievements we had during our times in Grands Prix. We didn’t get the success we hoped for in the lower categories, but with MotoGP™ in the later years – except a few championships I think we could have fought for a little hard for – we were always very proud of what we achieved. It is a privilege for me to be added to a list of people like that.”

Duminică, așa cum v-am informat în 2 octombrie a.c., Stoner (care a avut în carieră: 45 de victorii, 89 de clasări pe podium, 43 de starturi din prima poziție și 33 de recorduri de tur de circuit), Wayne Gardener (primul australian care a câștigat titlul mondial la clasa 500 cmc, în 1987, cu Rothmans Honda) și Mick Doohan (5 titluri mondiale consecutive la clasa 500 cmc cu HRC Honda – primul – și Rothmans Honda) au făcut înaintea cursei de la clasa MotoGP turele demonstrative plănuite, Casey și Mick pe motociclete Repsol Honda, iar Wayne pe Rothmans Honda.

Florin Silea

sursă foto: MotoGP