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Disgruntled motorcycling star Stoner switches to cars

January 29, 2013 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
Australia's Casey Stoner will be driving a V8 sports car in 2013 following his retirement from MotoGP.
Australia's Casey Stoner will be driving a V8 sports car in 2013 following his retirement from MotoGP.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Motorcycling star Casey Stoner confirms his switch to sports car racing
  • Two-time MotoGP world champion will drive a V8 Supercar this year
  • Stoner criticizes some MotoGP fans for their behavior, saying he was spat at
  • Australian says he "fell out of love" with motorcycling after 10-year career

(CNN) -- Former motorcycling star Casey Stoner has ended speculation about his future by confirming he will switch to four wheels to drive in a V8 Supercar, but not before taking a sideswipe at officials and fans.

The two-time world champion quit the elite MotoGP class at the end of the 2012 season, having announced his premature departure last May.

"I just fell out of love with the sport. We had a lack of respect from a lot of people around the sport and I didn't like the direction it was taking," he was quoted in Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper on the same day he confirmed his new career move on Twitter.

"We got spat at (by fans), they tried to knock us off scooters going from the motor homes to the pits, everything like that."

Remembering fallen MotoGP star
World mourns Simoncelli death
Tributes pour in for Simoncelli
As MotoGP returns to Malaysia for the first time since the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli, the Italian's memory is very much to the fore of the sport. Here, a fan of the rider, shows her devotion with a tattoo in tribute to her hero who died following a fatal crash on October 23 2011.<br/><br/> As MotoGP returns to Malaysia for the first time since the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli, the Italian's memory is very much to the fore of the sport. Here, a fan of the rider, shows her devotion with a tattoo in tribute to her hero who died following a fatal crash on October 23 2011.

Memories of Marco
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Marco\'s Memories: A year on in Malaysia Marco's Memories: A year on in Malaysia

The 27-year-old Australian said the death of Italian star Marco Simoncelli at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2011 had also been a major factor in his decision.

"We lost a rider a couple of years ago and within a month it was like it never happened," Stoner claimed.

"They want to see biff and barge and they don't realize our lives are on the line. We became puppets in that world and it had nothing to do with racing."

Stoner will drive for Red Bull Racing Australia in 2013, competing in a car which won the 2010 edition of the famous Bathurst motor race.

He tweeted: "Very happy to have a chance to race with @redbullracingAU in the Dunlop Series this year. Looking forward to getting on track at Clipsal!"

Stoner, who has previously tested sports cars, will initially compete in a development series.

His former arch rival in MotoGP, Italian legend Valentino Rossi has also been linked in the past with a move to four wheels with Ferrari.

But seven-time champion Rossi has stayed loyal to MotoGP and will return to Yamaha for the 2013 season.

Meanwhile, Stoner will carry over his famous No.27 from his former sport into motor racing.

Injuries from a crash in May cost him the chance of winning a third world title last season, but he signed off for Repsol Honda with a win in front of his home fans at Philip Island in November.

He started out in the 125cc class in the early 2000s before moving up to MotoGP in 2006, and won the world title the following year and again in 2011.

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