Stoner, Valentino Rossi's rivalry continues

Last updated 16:59 18/12/2012
Casey Stoner
LAST HURRAH: Casey Stoner waves to his fans after finishing third in his final Moto GP race before retirement.

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Casey Stoner might have retired from MotoGP but his war of words with bitter former rival Valentino Rossi is dragging on.

The pair have clashed once again over their infamous duel during  the 2008 US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

Rossi, the nine-times world champion, claimed in a recent  interview that Stoner began to ''hate'' him after the Australian lost  the dangerous and nerve-wracking clash.

Stoner, who is focusing on a career in V8 Supercars, has retorted that the Italian feels brave enough to speak out without  him in the paddock next season.

Rossi was forced to return to Yamaha after spectacularly failing  on the Ducati with which Stoner won the 2007 world championship.

But at Laguna Seca, it was Rossi who came out on top, winning  the race courtesy of some controversial high-speed wheel-to-wheel racing.

Rossi maintained that their relationship turned sour after the US race.

Stoner had dominated practice and qualifying on his Ducati but  Rossi threw away the rulebook to produce one of the bravest and  most successful coups of his career.

The Australian was highly critical of his rival's aggressive  riding and he eventually crashed, but remounted to finish second.

''Stoner started to hate me just because he lost,'' Rossi told the  Daineses Legends magazine.

''After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race, because he wasn't man enough to understand that at the time, he lost.''

Stoner responded via his official Twitter feed: ''I think Valentino feels a little more brave now that I'm not there.''

The pair have clashed repeatedly in the past while Stoner could not resist a crack at Rossi's decision to abandon Ducati after two winless seasons.

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- AAP

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