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Casey Stoner stirs up Valentino Rossi feud - “I don’t have a lot of respect for that...”

Gold & Goose

Casey Stoner has revealed how his respect for notorious arch-rival Valentino Rossi was lost in the aftermath of the pair’s infamous coming together at the start of the 2011 Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.

The two riders cultivated a bitter and at times ill-tempered rivalry during their time competing together in MotoGP, the pair often taking snipes at one another off the track, while their gnarly battle with one another during the 2008 US MotoGP at Laguna Seca has gone down in grand prix folklore as one of the sport’s most iconic races.

However, at the time of their coming together at Turn 1 around the Spanish venue, the two parties were at different stages of their career, with Stoner enjoying success having switched from Ducati to Honda, while Rossi was finding his way on the Ducati having recently joined from Yamaha.


The collision in Spain, which was triggered by an over-ambitious lunge on Rossi’s part coming into the first corner, led to both he and Stoner skittling out of the race.

The incident served to flare up old rivalries between the pair, with Stoner famously commenting that Rossi’s ‘ambition outweighed his talent’.

More than a decade on, Stoner - speaking in an interview with Moto.it - has revealed how ‘disappointed’ he was with Rossi’s attempt at apologising, saying he lost respect for the way he did so with his helmet on, flanked closely by television cameras.

“In the moment I was a little bit disappointed with Valentino coming in with the helmet,” the Australian said. “Mistakes happen but it was very clear that Vale had some eyes because he was having a difficult time with Ducati. 

“The first moment he had to take pride back he took the opportunity, but made a big mistake. I basically said then that his ambition was more than his talent at the time. 

“For me, when he returned to the box to apologise and you are wearing the gloves, the helmet, I don’t have a lot of respect for that. 

“If he came to me and not publicly then that would have been different. But I was very disappointed to see the way he came in the box.”

Casey Stoner took ‘a lot of offence’ on behalf of Ducati for Rossi’s views

Stoner also says he took exception to Rossi’s negative comments regarding Ducati in the years after he departed the manufacturer after two disappointing seasons with the Italian firm.


Indeed, though Stoner would go on to end his career with Honda, it is Ducati with whom he has maintained a closer relationship with in retirement, with the two-time MotoGP World Champion frustrated that Rossi refers to the team’s failure when discussing disappointing results despite the fact he was the one to bring in his people and change its way of working.

“I wasn’t upset but people must remember that I have a lot of close friends in Ducati,” he continued. 

“So even though I wasn’t with them anymore, this was because of people at the top, not the mechanics, engineers and everyone I had a close relationship with.

“When Vale arrived at Ducati this was also difficult to watch because I knew the pressure they were under and they didn’t deserve it. 


“They were doing a great job and we did a lot of work with the budget we had, which was very small. Unfortunately, between Valentino and his engineer Jerry Burgess, they spoke very negatively about me and my team. 

“They basically said we know nothing and that they would fix the bike very quickly. I take a lot of offence to that because of my team. 

“We were still challenging for the title with the budget we had, which is more than they can say with a bigger budget.”

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