Stoner out for three races as Kallio steps in
10 August 2009 – In a crucial twist for the 2009 World Championship, Casey Stoner will be unable to take part in the next three Grands Prix due to his ongoing health problems. Currently thirty-seven points behind championship leader Valentino Rossi, the lengthy absence could spell the end of the Australian's title challenge as Mika Kallio deputises.
"After five extremely difficult races due to my health, I returned to Australia to visit the sports doctors who have looked after me for many years," 2007 Champion Stoner explained. "We have taken the difficult decision not to contest the next three rounds of the championship to allow my body time to recover from the recent stress.
"I have spoken with Ducati and thank them for their understanding at this time. I feel very sorry for the factory, my team, my sponsors and the fans and I am also disappointed because the bike has been very competitive in the last races; I will be doing everything possible to come back to full strength for Portugal."