Casey Stoner will miss the next three rounds of the MotoGP championship due to fatigue, Ducati has confirmed.
The Australian, who has been suffering from illness and fatigue since Barcelona back in June, will sit out the round in Brno this weekend as well as the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 30 and the San Marino Grand Prix on September 6 in an attempt to regain fitness.
The illness was originally diagnosed as gastritis and anaemia by doctors in California following the US Grand Prix but Stoner has disputed the diagnosis, with the condition continuing to get the better of him.
In a statement released by Ducati, the team confirmed that the 2007 World Champion will return to action in Estoril, Portugal in October.
“Stoner took this difficult decision after having consulted with sports doctors who have looked after him for many years back home in Australia,” read a statement. “At this challenging time, he has the full support of the team and the whole of Ducati who together with Stoner have enjoyed racing at the top of the sport for the last three seasons.”
Stoner will be replaced for the next three rounds by Pramac Ducati rider Mika Kallio, who will make the step up to the factory Ducati for the next three rounds.
“After five extremely difficult races due to my health, I returned to Australia to visit the sports doctors who have looked after me for many years. We have taken the difficult decision not to contest the next three rounds of the championship, to allow my body time to recover from the recent stress,” said a disappointed Stoner, with the decision ending the 23-year-old’s faint title hopes.
“The doctors believe that during the Barcelona race I was suffering from a virus, and, that I subsequently pushed my body too hard, leading to problems that have caused my fatigue since then. The doctors are continuing with many tests to try to understand these problems and make sure it does not happen again.
“I have spoken with Ducati and thank them for their understanding at this time. I feel very sorry for the factory, my team, my sponsors and the fans and I am also disappointed because the bike in the last races has been very competitive. I will be doing everything possible to come back at full strength for Portugal.”