"Sorry, I've had a cold for a couple of weeks," he excuses himself on the first interruption.
But there are several more.
And although he does not need justification, there comes a time when he cuts the talk and decides to explain the illness he suffers.
At 35, the MotoGP champion in 2007 and 2011 coughs because of chronic fatigue syndrome, an ailment that barely allows him to ride a motorcycle, go fishing or even play with his two daughters.
When were you diagnosed? Two years ago, in November
2018. Before, months went by in which I felt that my physique was deteriorating for no apparent reason: I went to train and came back burst.
I went to the doctor and at first I got it wrong.
Chronic fatigue has no cure, but I thought I'd find it, train harder than anyone else, and get ahead.
But the truth is that this disease is destroying me and I can't handle it.
I spent the first six months of this year going from bed to sofa and from sofa to bed.
I could barely get up to eat.
Now I am somewhat better, I have learned to manage my energy.
As it does?
It is difficult to explain.
I start the day at 50% and the energy goes down until I'm empty.
One of the most exasperating things is that even if you take a nap, the energy does not recover until the next day.
There is no way.
All this has made me rethink my life.
Before I enjoyed myself, I went out on a motorcycle, I went fishing and I went to play golf and now I'm just pulling.
On good days I take the opportunity to play with my daughters and if anything I go to play golf.
But hit-by-hit with the cart and exhausted on the couch the days after.
I've only been riding a motorcycle twice in the last two years and fishing ... uh, I don't even know when the last time I went fishing was.
Is there any treatment that mitigates the effects of the disease?
Not for the moment.
Several companies are working on it, but it is an ailment that is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
There are people who confuse it with the Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes fatigue, but has a cure.
In fact, I passed the virus when I was racing in MotoGP and it was very different.
Now I don't see how to improve.
However, despite his condition, Stoner gets heated during the conversation when asked about MotoGP news.
At his residence in Brisbane, in Australia, from where he attends EL MUNDO, the former pilot admits a certain dislike for the season that ended this Monday in Portimao, for the superiority of Marc Márquez and for the attitude of the new generation.
returned too soon after his accident.
If he had recovered with patience and had run half of the World Cup, today he would be champion.
This year it has shown how superior it is.
Before his crash at Jerez, his comeback ridiculed the rest.
Most of today's drivers need to work harder and congratulate themselves less to compete against Marc.
The new generation does not convince him.
This year, without Marc, nobody has been at a great level.
They could have won the title, but they got lost along the way.
And I was surprised to see that, despite the mistakes they made, many riders kept smiling.
I do not understand why.
In my time it was not like that.
The current drivers are very conformist: they are satisfied with the comments they receive on Instagram and what happens on the track does not affect them as much.
Except Marc, no one works hard enough.
It was a pleasant surprise for that, because I work.
He has not been the fastest and may not be the most talented, but he has worked all year.
He got on all the podiums at his fingertips and won the race he needed.
He impressed me in the second race in Austria.
It was a shame that with the red flag he was left without a podium because he deserved to win that day.
Do you see him as a candidate for the title in 2021?
I do not know.
I don't think anyone can be on Marc's level, but it can happen.
From my experience I think there is a lot to improve in winter.
I remember that in my second season in MotoGP, in 2007, nobody gave a penny for me, but I worked harder than ever, I dedicated myself like nobody else, I even changed my lifestyle and ended up winning the World Championship with Ducati.
Maybe one of the drivers changes the chip this winter and we will see another championship.
He praises Marc Márquez, although he revealed that it was he who separated him from the World Championship in 2015. He was a Honda tester until ...
I'm not really sure what happened, I didn't speak to Marc at any time.
Someone from Marc's team didn't believe my retirement, they thought I wanted to go back to racing and began to hinder my relationship with the brand.
Because of that conflict, there came a point where work was no longer pleasant for me and I decided to withdraw.
It is done.
A return to the past
Until then it was common to see Stoner on the MotoGP circuits, always referred to as one of the most talented riders in history, always considered a lost romantic.
He left the World Championship tired of the light regulations, the lack of security and the bad atmosphere in the paddock and continues to do so despite the distance.
At some point he has regretted retiring at 27.
No the truth.
Since I left I have missed working with the team, the challenge of being fast on Sundays, but I'm happy to be away from the current MotoGP World Championship.
I don't understand that there is so much electronics, the traction control or the anti-wheelie system, I don't understand that there is so much aerodynamics, the wings on the motorcycles ... and above all I don't understand that the regulations change so much.
Not to mention other things.
Do you talk about the discussions in recent years between
, Marquez or
Respect for the competition has been lost.
Now everyone in the paddock wants blood.
For me everything changed when he passed away
, in October 2011].
For a month everyone was very sorry and we respected each other, but then the war returned.
Is another MotoGP World Championship possible?
It would take a leader with a heavy hand, but it is possible.
Strict rules should be set for the next 10 years;
seize the power currently held by manufacturers and pilots, who are selfish by nature;
and change more things.
For example, I don't understand that so many races are held in Spain.
It is something that does not happen in Formula 1, it does not look like a World Cup.
When you look back on your active days, what is your best memory?
It could be the title with Ducati in 2007, which makes me proud, because nobody has yet managed to match it, but I keep the title with Honda in 2011. It was a difficult year because Jorge Lorenzo was very regular, but in almost every race I felt that could win.
At Ducati there were days when I was only opting for the podium, at Honda I drove fully.
Was Lorenzo your favorite rival?
He was an important rival in my career, but I would stay with Dani [Pedrosa] first.
We raced together in 125cc and 250cc and many years in 500cc.
I really liked his style because he was very respectful and when he won I knew why he was winning.
Other riders could overtake me because of the bike or other circumstances, but when Dani was going fast he was unstoppable.
It was a pleasure that he was my rival.
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