Motorcycle Racing News Suppo Denies Stoner Signed with Honda

Suppo Denies Stoner Signed with Honda

MotoGP News

Hours after the Italian Web site Sportmediaset reported Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner had signed with Repsol Honda for the 2011 MotoGP season, the team’s marketing manager, Livio Suppo, denied everything on another Italian Web site,

Livio Suppo says "There are four strong pilots in contract expiration. It is clearly that there’ll be interest for one of these (riders). In this moment, all speak with all (riders), but nobody has signed anything."

The four "pilots" Suppo is referring to are Stoner, and most likely Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and Stoner’s teammate Nicky Hayden.

All four, along with Honda’s own Dani Pedrosa, have expiring contracts at the conclusion of the 2010 season.

Though Suppo denies Stoner’s signing with HRC, the rumors continue to grow, divulging much speculation. These rumors began last week when Suppo was observed negotiating with Stoner.

And after the Italian media reported today that Stoner had signed with Honda, the speculation ascended.

First, it should be noted that Suppo, who spent 11 years with Ducati before moving to Repsol Honda last year, was the Australian’s former boss, and was talking to the 2007 MotoGP Champion’s father and business manager Colin after the Jerez GP.

Many are reporting that tension was built between Ducati team managers and Stoner after the number 27 rider’s "mysterious illness" last season, which turned out to be a case of lactose intolerance.

Stoner missed three races due to the illness, and finished fourth in the championship. Due to Stoner’s impressive performance when he returned, many believe the 24-year-old may have had a great shot at the championship.

He took second on his return race in Estoril, and then won the following rounds in Phillip Island and Sepang.

As for this season, Stoner is currently sitting in eighth place with 16 races to go. He crashed out of Round 1 in Qatar, and finished fifth at Round 2 in Jerez.

If true, this wouldn’t be the first time Ducati made the headlines about seeking other talent for 2011. Nine-time World Champion Rossi has openly stated he had offers from Ducati, which reportedly involved huge amounts of money. His teammate Lorenzo has also been reportedly on Ducati’s radar.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 DOT Certified Helmet Performance Testing Update

We provide some deep insight into the latest 2021 DOT Certified Motorcycle Helmet performance testing, from failure rate to suggestions for regulators.

2021 Benelli TRK502 Review (15 Fast Facts for Sport-Touring)

Last month we tested the 2021 Benelli TRK502X adventure motorcycle and came away impressed. At first glance, the standard TRK502 doesn’t seem that much...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide First Look (6 Fast Facts)

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide is here, and it’s louder and sleeker than ever—plus it has some wild new wheels. Here’s what’s new...

2021 Houston 3 Fantasy Supercross Tips (11 Fast Facts)

The 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series is off to a mind-boggling start. The playing field is so level that the bubble is right...

2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 First Look (6 Fast Facts)

When the Softail Standard was released last year and functionally the same motorcycle as the Street Bob, we knew something had to be afoot...

2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special First Look: Hot Rod Bagger

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special is a Touring model that The Motor Company puts in a sub-category—Hot Rod Bagger. To earn that title,...