Retiring double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner
is interested to see how his rookie replacement Marc Marquez gets on at Repsol Honda - and indeed how the other winter rider changes pan out.
“It'll be interesting. We've seen Moto2 champions move up - one [Toni Elias] struggled and one [Stefan Bradl] has been competitive,” said Stoner of young Spanish star Marquez.
“We'll see what Marc does. We can't expect him to be fast immediately although I'm sure he'll be trying in the early part of the season.
“There's a lot of movement this year. A lot of people changing manufacturers. So it'll be interesting to see how everybody settles into their new positions and who can be competitive.”
But don't expect to see Stoner watching from the side-lines during next week's post-race test? “I'm not that interested!” smiled Stoner.
Stoner arrives for his final MotoGP race fresh from a dream sixth successive home win in Australia, also his first victory since mid-season ankle surgery.
“Phillip Island took a huge weight off my shoulders. I wanted to try and get a win before the end of the season so it was a huge relief,” he said.
Stoner took his very first grand prix victory in the 125cc class at Valencia in 2003 and won at the twisty Spanish circuit last season, having re-passed Ben Spies on the run to the line.
“Last year was nice. We had a big gap until the rain came. I don't want any rain this weekend, but the weather hasn't been great yesterday or today,” he said. “We've always been competitive here and it tends to suit my style.”
The 27-year-old admits that his last race weekend will feel slightly different, but thinks it will only sink in on Monday.
“I've known for a long time that this was going to be my last race so there aren't too many emotions going on,” he said.
“Of course the feeling is a little bit different, not fighting for a championship and not looking to next season.
“But in general we still feel pretty good for this race, and we won't know until Monday how I feel [about retirement].”
The Australian has won five races this season - one less than Jorge Lorenzo
and Dani Pedrosa
- and is already confirmed as third in the world championship.