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MotoGP Jerez: Honda rule out Stoner comeback in 2015

Honda's Shuhei Nakamoto believes former MotoGP champion Casey Stoner wouldn't have enough time to test, should Dani Pedrosa's injury persist
HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto has 'realistically' ruled out a Casey Stoner return to MotoGP in 2015, although he included the caveat 'everything is possible'.

With Dani Pedrosa sidelined by arm pump surgery after Qatar, it emerged that retired champion Stoner had approached HRC as a replacement for the Texan and Argentinean rounds.

However, Nakamoto and Honda felt there was not enough time to prepare for what would have been a sensational comeback to the series Stoner won for both Ducati (2007) and Honda (2011).

“I would like to see Casey fighting at least for a podium, but we do not have enough time to prepare. This is the reason,” Nakamoto said at Jerez on Friday, repeating the explanation given at Austin.

“[He would need] at least one test. Realistically if we need Casey he comes back next year. Not this year because we have no time. For me this is not the time to think about this thing.”

Instead Nakamoto and Repsol Honda team manager Livio Suppo are focussing on getting Pedrosa back to full racing fitness. “Honestly we don't want to think like this. We want to be positive,” said the Italian.

Nakamoto did however include the caveat, "Everything is possible. Everything. [But] we will continue with Aoyama [if Pedrosa isn't fit for the next round at Le Mans].”

Suppo and Nakamoto also batted away claims that Dorna had previously blocked a possible Stoner return in 2013, when LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl was injured just before the Australian Grand Prix.

“This is not true. We never asked the rider to return,” said Nakamoto.

Still only 29, Stoner retired from MotoGP at the end of 2013. However the Australian remains a development rider for HRC, with his most recent MotoGP test at Sepang in January. This apparently did not involve set-up work, with Stoner nonetheless "around 1.5s" from his record lap.

Stoner appeared to disagree with Honda's reasons for turning down his offer, Tweeting: "Bummer I'm not racing, no prep was needed as I wasn't planning on winning, just replacing a good friend and having some fun in Texas!:)"

But that didn't change the biggest news, which was that Stoner - who had been critical of MotoGP during his final season - wanted to return, fuelling hopes of at least a wild-card ride in the future.

The #27, whose replacement Marc Marquez has won the MotoGP title for Repsol Honda in 2013 and 2014, will make a two-wheel comeback in this year's Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race.

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Casey Stoner testing at Motegi (pic: Repsol Honda).
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May 01, 2015 9:22 PM

It's clear Honda doesn't want Stoner to disturb MM's championship run clearly Stoner wouldn't win races straight away but it's possible he could take points away from MM later on and a possible clash of titans isn't what Honda wants. What a shame!


May 01, 2015 8:52 PM

he would need 1 test? so what is he testing for hrc then? cars? boats or watches??? Stoner wants it! the headlines on multple sites honda says.... Stoner is amazing!!!! So does a guy thats AMAZING and allready tests bikes need atleast 1 test?? sounds like the biggest bull.h.t ever. I cant think why CS would ever do another test for them...... crazy hrc

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