Casey Stoner has criticised Valentino Rossi’s lack of commitment to Ducati following news that the nine-time world champion’s much-hyped but ultimately lacklustre stint with the Italian team will soon come to an end.
Rossi confirmed late last week that he will return to Yamaha next season, walking away from Ducati having so far failed to add to his 105 Grand Prix victories in 27 starts with the outfit.
By contrast, Stoner won 23 races while riding for Ducati between 2007 and 2010, but often found his achievements downplayed by critics claiming that the Australian’s bike was superior to its rivals.
According to Stoner, Rossi and his long-time crew chief Jeremy Burgess have both been embarrassed by the last two seasons.
“They ate their words from day one,” Stoner told newswire service AAP of the duo’s struggles with the bike.
“Jerry saying that it would take him 80 seconds to fix that bike and that it was a simple issue and now they have had almost two years and have not made any inroads.
“Valentino obviously doesn’t want to push limits and ride a bike that is not perfect, he has admitted that. Obviously he doesn’t want to put the effort in with Ducati.
“I just feel completely sorry for Ducati that Valentino has gone there and done nothing but complain about the bike for almost two years,” he added.
“The amount of times that guy has had to eat his words is not funny, but people still forgive him for it.”
Stoner won his second MotoGP World Championship in his first season with Honda last year, and currently sits second in the 2012 standings.
The 26-year-old announced in May that he will retire at season’s end to spend more time with his young family in Australia.