MotoGP 2022: Casey Stoner, “I wanted to die”, ill, anxiety diagnosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, health struggle – Archyde

Two-time Australian MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner has faced a new health battle despite little knowing it was damaging his career.

Australian MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has revealed he has been plagued by undiagnosed fears throughout his career, saying: “The better the weekend was for me, the more I wanted to die.”

Stoner is one of three Australians to have won the MotoGP Riders Championship, alongside Wayne Gardner and five-time winner Mick Doohan.

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But Stoner shocked the MotoGP world when he retired at the age of 27 after spending seven seasons at the top level where he finished no worse than fourth after his first season, including two world championships.

The 2007 and 2011 world champion was a child prodigy, winning his first title on the Ducati, which was seen as an inferior bike, and he remains Ducati’s sole world champion.

Stoner admitted he no longer enjoys the sport, saying at the time: “I don’t have the passion for it so at this point it’s better that I retire now.”

In recent years, however, Stoner has revealed more about his life, including clarifying his life debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome after being missing from sport-related events for three years before returning last year.

But this week, in a four-hour episode of the gypsy storiesPodcast, Stoner opened up about his battle with anxiety, which went undiagnosed throughout his career.

Following his recent diagnosis, Stoner said it helped put some of the feelings he had throughout his career in perspective.

“I was recently diagnosed with anxiety that I didn’t really know was a thing,” Stoner said.

“Honestly, I thought it was just something people made up … a different way of being stressed. Everyone gets stressed.

“Even my back locks up with my fear. Between the shoulder blades. I can now feel it when I’m in situations and it doesn’t feel comfortable.

“It would have been easier in my career if I had known about it and maybe could have dealt with the situation a little bit better. I was treated badly for shutting myself off from people and the media a bit because I was never comfortable with that. Crowds I’ve never felt comfortable with. All this side of it.

“And then race day… literally for years, right up to probably my last two years of MotoGP racing, the better the weekend was for me the more I wanted to die.

“I was literally curled up on the floor of the RV, sick as a dog, with my stomach in a knot.

“I didn’t want to race. I couldn’t feel worse, more scared.

“I felt the pressure from the team, from everyone who’s ever helped me, all the rest. You have a team of up to 70 people there, and especially when you’re the number one driver and everyone expects you Winning every weekend built that on me.

“And it wasn’t until after my career ended that I realized why I used to struggle so much with it.

“Then I got my own little mantra that has helped me over the past few years, which is: You can only do what you can and you can’t do more than that.”

Stoner said he doesn’t understand how other people – including Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi – could embrace the fame and control that comes with success at the highest level.

He said he was jealous of the personalities who “don’t seem to give a shit”.

Stoner revealed he needed to focus on preparation and make sure he ticked the boxes to move on.

Along with his chronic fatigue, Stoner said he believes his previous coping methods have not helped any of his health issues.

He previously admitted he “turned everything off” and said he was “very good at telling me to soak it up and move on.”

After returning to MotoGP at the Algarve Grand Prix in Portugal late last year, he explained his three-year absence from the sport.

Stoner was a development rider for Ducati until 2018 before illness forced him to leave.

The 36-year-old explained his chronic fatigue syndrome left him “never more than 60 percent of my usual self”.

“Since I finished my test role at Ducati, I’ve been reconstructing my shoulder, which has been fantastic,” he said at the time.

“I struggled massively with my health. I got to the point where I basically couldn’t get off the couch for five months. Getting from bed to couch was my exercise for the day. I couldn’t explain anything, we couldn’t understand anything.

“Mentally I was struggling. Physically, massive. For the past three or four years I’ve just tried to deal with the situation.

“I’m trying to learn how to conserve energy throughout the day. Learning what ails me in the long run versus what doesn’t necessarily make me better but lessens the impact of my problem.

“Late last year in December, January I was feeling a little better. I thought maybe I can’t get out of this, but now I can. I started doing small things during the day and wasn’t too tired for the next week or two, which was really exciting.”

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