Retiring double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner has painted a bleak picture of the future of motorcycling in his native Australia.
Australia is likely to be without a premier-class rider next season and the 27-year-old Repsol Honda star, chasing a sixth successive Phillip Island win this weekend, doesn't feel enough support is available.
“To be honest I don't know,” replied Stoner, when asked who might fill the void for Australia once he retires.
“As far as Australia internationally it's going well, motorsport visiting Australia, but unfortunately motorsport inside Australia doesn't have support.
“There's nobody out there that is stepping up with sponsorship, or helping to find places for people to ride or start learning, or running Australian championships or anything like this.
“A lot of tracks are being closed down and motorsport in general in Australia struggles to a certain degree.
“It's very disappointing. I think everybody wants to be wrapped up in cotton wool too much.
“There are too many court cases pulled out because something happens to a young rider. Instances like that which I think are unnecessary.
“Everyone does things at their own risk, understands the risks and should just be there to enjoy it.
“Motorcycling is a fantastic thing. It's what I grew up loving to do and will continue to do into the future. It definitely needs a boost in Australia.”