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MotoGP Valencia: Casey Stoner to test for Ducati?

“[Casey Stoner's] contract with Honda expires at the end of this year and obviously if there is a chance to do something together we would love to do it...”
Retired double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner could be set for a return to Ducati.

The Australian claimed the factory's only MotoGP title in 2007, moving to Honda in 2011 where he claimed a second crown before retiring at the end of 2012.

Stoner has since taken part in MotoGP test riding duties for the Japanese factory, plus an entry in this year's Suzuka 8 Hours, where he was injured after the throttle stuck open.

Significantly, the 30-year-old also offered to fill-in for injured former Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa earlier this year - but was surprisingly turned down by HRC.

Rumours of a Stoner return to Ducati began with a Speedweek report during the flyaway races. With questions from the media intensifying, Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti visited the media room in Valencia on Wednesday, where he told us:

“As you know Casey has been a hero for Ducati, winning many GP races and the world title in 2007. Obviously he moved to Honda and has been working with them, but still he is in the heart of all the Ducati fans and has a good relationship with many Ducati people.

“So let's see what the future brings. We know the contract with Honda expires at the end of this year and obviously if there is a chance to do something together we would love to do it. That is the only thing I can say.”

So far from a denial - and why pick words so carefully, and refuse to answer any further questions, if Stoner returning isn't a real possibility? - but the Honda contract means there is unlikely to be anything official until January 1.

It is not thought that Stoner would consider a return to MotoGP full time, but a wild-card alongside some Ducati testing duties seems to be of interest...

Ducati have not won a MotoGP race since Stoner's departure.


Tagged as: Ducati , Casey Stoner

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TrueFan

November 11, 2015 12:25 PM

For the dimwits claiming "he didn't develop the bike"... Stoner provided all the feedback they needed. The carbon fibre frame was the major design investment delivered for the 2009 season, with work done in 2007 and 2008 (probably). That would have mostly come from the consistency problems Capirossi and Bayliss etc had already reported with the steel trellis frames. There was also some software development - most of which Stoner didn't use. However, Ducati was up for sale for much of the time Stoner was there after he won his first title. The CEO diverted money from racing development to boost the bottom line. No upgrades during the year, and not much at the end of the year. Suffer in silence. Stoner still won races when he was fit and healthy. Rossi found out to his utter humiliation at the Valencia tests in 2010 after he'd already opened his big mouth.



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