Stoner says he could have beaten Marquez
Casey Stoner says that he would have been able to beat Marc Marquez had the two ever raced in the same MotoGP field.
Stoner retired at the end of 2012, at the age of 27, and was replaced by Marquez at Repsol Honda.
The Spaniard became the youngest ever premier class world champion in his rookie season, went back-to-back in 2014, and won the title again in 2016.
Marquez is odds-on to add a fourth MotoGP World Championship to his record this weekend in Valencia.
However, Stoner believes that the calibre of the riders he beat during his career means he that would have also been able to defeat Marquez, had their careers overlapped.
“People always ask me if I could beat him (Marquez), and there a lot of things that suggest I could,” Stoner said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I won against (Jorge) Lorenzo, Valentino (Rossi), (Andrea) Dovizioso, and they have all beaten him. So there’s no reason to say I couldn’t have done also.
“And like Dovizioso is doing now, I could have fought with him for the title.”
Stoner rejoined Ducati at the start of 2016 to take up a test and ambassadorial role with the Italian manufacturer, declining the opportunity to make a wildcard race appearance in Austria that year.
The 32-year-old was eager to reiterate he has no regrets about choosing to retire when he did.
“I’m a test rider and someone who is very happy with his life,” he added.
“I am happy that I don’t have to put up with the stress of racing.
“I’m enjoying spending time with my family. I’m always doing something, I don’t get bored.
“I’ve never regretted the things I did, like deciding to retire.
“I don’t need it anymore. I started racing when I was four years old and I had a longer career than many people.”
Stoner also took the chance to refute rumours of his relationship with Ducati cooling, underlining that plans for his 2018 testing program are already being made.
“It’s not true,” he said. “We’ve already planned the first test of 2018, and then we’ll see (about future tests) depending on how development goes.”
The 18th and final round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend in Valencia (November 10-12 local time).