Former MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner will make his motorcycle racing comeback this year after being named as part of Honda's line-up for the Suzuka 8 Hours.

The Australian, MotoGP champion in 2007 and 2011, has not competed in a two-wheel race since retiring from the sport at the end of the 2012 season, though he retained strong links with HRC and continues to help the manufacturer with bike development.

However, Stoner will make a return to action at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours Superbike event, riding a Honda CBR1000RR alongside World Supersport Champion - and winner for the last two years - Michael van der Mark and Takumi Takahashi.

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"After riding the [Superbike] in Sepang a few months ago, I've been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka," Stoner said.

"It's always been an event I wanted to do and something I was never able to consider when I was racing in MotoGP, due to our busy schedules, so I'm really looking forward to taking part!

"The bike is very different to a MotoGP machine, but it will be a new challenge and a chance for me to try something new and unlike what I've been used to in my racing to this point.

"I've been impressed with Michael van der Mark this season and Takumi Takahashi has a lot of experience on this machine, so I'm looking forward to hearing their comments and working together with them in preparation for the July race. Now I need to concentrate on my training to be ready for the race.

Since retiring from MotoGP, Stoner has tried his hand at V8 Supercars, but it was an endeavor that lasted just a few races in 2013 before he opted not to continue.

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Surprise return??? I don't think so, it was just a matter of time. Yes he divides opinion but no matter what you think of him he is special on a bike and it'll be great to see him in action again.

So what? Might have mattered when Suzuka drew the best of the best. Isn't Kevin Schwantz going to race Suzuka. Love to see Kevin beat Stoner.