1 He’s a country boy
Casey is a country kid who grew up in the Australian towns of Kurri Kurri in New South Wales and Southport in Queensland where as a young tacker he would tear around the paddocks on a Yamaha Pee Wee 50, riding solo for the first time at age three.
2 He rocked, even as a kid…
He won his first race at age four when he was entered in the under-nine division at the Mike Hatcher Junior Motorcyle Club on the Gold Coast. By age six, he had won his first Australian title.
3…And blitzed the competition
Between the ages of six and 14, Casey won 41 Australian dirt and long track titles and over 70 State titles. At the Australian Long Track Titles in 1997, 12-year-old Casey competed in every possible category, won 32 out of 35 races, and walked away with all five Australian titles on offer — all in the one weekend.
4 He was a teenage dirt-bag, baby
With nothing left to win on the dirt-track circuit in Australia, Casey decided it was time to step up into the world of road racing. However, the legal age for road racing in Australia was set at 16. In a beautiful example of nurturing your kid’s talent, the Stoner family pulled up stumps and headed to the UK (where the legal age is 14) so Casey could continue to develop his skills and pile on the achievements.
5 But he didn’t have it easy
While Casey had tasted success in Australia, fame and fortune were still to come. The Stoner family struggled financially, living in a caravan, at times without electricity and running water, while on the road following the racing circuit around the UK and Spain. And while he met with much success during those early years spent moving up through the divisions, he also met the tarmac with a regularity that earned him the moniker ‘Crash King’.
6 Practice makes perfect
In 2006, at just 21 years old Casey stepped into the world of elite MotoGP and was placed eighth. He won the first of two world championship titles in 2007 (the other was in 2011).
7 He’s tough as nails
Just a day after crashing spectacularly during qualifying — resulting in chipped bones and torn ligaments in his right ankle — Casey wore a modified boot and managed a courageous fourth in this year’s Indianapolis GP. He flew back to Australia to have reconstructive surgery in August, before preparing for the 2012 MotoGP on Phillip Island.
8 He loves his parents…
While singular in his determination to win, Casey is also ever grateful of his parents, Colin and Bronwyn, for the support and sacrifices they made to help him reach his potential and achieve his dream of becoming world champion.
9 …And his wife
He met his wife, Adriana, when she approached him at the 2003 Phillip Island Grand Prix and asked him to sign her stomach. She was just 14. The pair exchanged details and started officially dating in 2005, when Adriana turned 16. Two years later, Casey and Adriana married in Adelaide. In February this year, Casey and Adriana announced the arrival of their daughter, Alessandra Maria Stoner, who coincidentally shares the same birthday as Casey’s great rival, Valentino Rossi.
10 He doesn’t get stuck in a rut
While MotoGP fans, colleagues and rivals alike were saddened to hear of Casey’s plans to step away from the sport at the end of this year, rev heads at home pricked up their ears as rumours surfaced of a move to four wheels that may see Casey spend more time in Australia, behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar.