Casey Stoner MotoGP 2021 news: Aussie legend’s health, chronic fatigue

World champion Casey Stoner has explained his three-year disappearance from MotoGP after a rare sighting this weekend.

Casey Stoner has opened up on his sad health battle as he returned to MotoGP for the first time in three years.

The two-time world champion says he “couldn’t get off the couch basically for five months” as he continues to manage life with his debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome condition that has wiped him out entirely in recent years.

The Australian was spotted returning to work in MotoGP for the first time this weekend at the Algarve Grand Prix in Portugal and held a special press conference to address his three-year disappearance from the sport.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m basically never more than 60 per cent of my usual self.

“I’ve had to learn to walk everywhere which I hate. I always used to jog just about everywhere but now I have to walk.”

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He has previously revealed details about his ongoing health battle, which was first diagnosed successfully in 2018.

He still suffers sore throats, headaches, severe tiredness and difficulty thinking.

Stoner, who retired from MotoGP in 2012, had returned to work in MotoGP as a development rider for Ducati in 2018 before being forced to walk away again as a result of his illness.

He admitted the three-year-break away from the MotoGP pit lane had been too long.

“It’s been three and a half years I believe. This was my whole world for a lot of years. We knew everyone,” Stoner said.

“A lot of people in this paddock are family and friends. We’ve missed everyone, to be honest.

“Since I finished my testing role with Ducati, I got my shoulder reconstruction which was fantastic. I’ve struggled massively with my health. I got to the point where I couldn’t get off the couch basically for five months. From bed to the couch was my exercise for the day. I couldn’t explain anything, we couldn’t understand anything.

“Mentally I was struggling. Physically, massively. For the last three or four years now I’ve just been trying to manage the situation.

“Trying to learn how to conserve energy through the day. Learning what hurts me long term versus what not necessarily makes me better, but reduces the effect of my issue.”

“The end of last year I started feeling a little better in December, January. I thought maybe I’m not coming out of it but I can manage this now. I started being able to do little bits during the day and not be too tired for the next week or two, which was really exciting.

“But then I hit March, April and went backwards again. I’m a little less optimistic with things at the moment. I just kind of go day by day how I feel. Sometimes I’m extremely exhausted and just cannot explain it, and then other days I’m a little better.

“I’m basically never more than 60 per cent of my usual self. I’ve had to learn to walk everywhere which I hate. I always used to jog just about everywhere but now I have to walk.

“It’s just about conserving energy and getting through each day.”

Stoner in 2020 said he believes his chronic fatigue syndrome condition was the result of an earlier misdiagnosis that resulted in him finishing his career drained of all energy.

Stoner said recently a misdiagnosis of being lactose intolerant earlier on in his racing career was in fact Epstein-Barr, an energy-sapping illness, that has halted the career of several riders.

He says doctors have told him they believe his fatigue at the end of his racing career triggered the condition he now battles every day.

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