Confirmed: Casey Stoner to Test Honda MotoGP Machinery
Casey Stoner News
Last week after UK news reported Casey Stoner was coming out of retirement, the rumors began.
Was Stoner headed back to Ducati? Was the Australian who retired at the conclusion of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at 27 headed back to the factory Honda team for an attempt at a third world title? Would he ride as a wildcard at select rounds?
Of course, these were all assumptions, which were widely spread across social-media pages of many MotoGP fans. But on Tuesday, one thing was confirmed – Stoner will test the Honda RC213V for Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).
Stoner, who last rode the RC213V at Valencia MotoGP in 2012 (finished third), will participate in four tests at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan during the next few months.
During the tests, Stoner, who won the 2007 title with Ducati and the 2011 title with Honda, will work with Honda Racing’s R&D team on the evolution of the RC213V, and also on the new production MotoGP machine that Honda will sell to selected teams for 2014.
And speaking of wildcard appearances, Honda reports Stoner “has been linked with rumors of a wild card appearance this season but this is now out of the question.”
Casey Stoner says: “It’s been almost seven months now since Valencia and I’m still happy and comfortable with the decision I made to stop motorcycle racing, even if sometimes I miss riding my RCV. That’s why I am happy with HRC’s offer to do some tests in Motegi this year! This will allow me to enjoy what I miss: riding a MotoGP bike! I can’t wait to get on the RCV to see how it has changed from last year and I’d like to thank Honda for this opportunity.”
Shuhei Nakamoto (Executive Vice President of Honda Racing Corporation) says: “We are very pleased to have Casey back in the team! He knows this machine very well and I’m sure he can help our engineers and technicians with the development of the RC213V. We will also ask him to test the new production racer and give us his initial feedback to assist us in producing the best machine possible.”