Australian Casey Stoner
has been confirmed as riding for the LCR team in 2006 as the squad makes the move up to the MotoGP class.
Stoner, who had been linked to a seat with Honda in MotoGP for some time, will race with the squad with which he almost took the 250 class title this season, and the team will receive backing from HRC.
"I am very happy to make my MotoGP debut with Lucio," says Stoner. "The LCR Team is like a home away from home. The 2006 will be my fifth year in the world championship and the fourth with LCR team and I think we will get good results together like the last seasons."
The LCR team is run by Lucio Cechinello, who is very pleased that the Australian will remain with them as they move up to the premier class. "I am very happy that Casey will make his debut in MotoGP class with us," explained Cechinello, who ran Stoner in the 125 and 250 classes.
"It's a sort of third christening and I feel very proud of it. There's a lot of work to do on both sides. Personally I already started a new sport: the skip of the vacation! However Casey showed to be a real professional and I feel confident for the future. Thanks to the Honda support and his pluck the results will come soon!"
Stoner joins the squad on a one year deal, with an option for 2007 and it won't be the first time that Casey will have ridden Honda's MotoGP challenger as the Australian already has MotoGP experience, having tested for the Honda Pons squad in November.
"I already lapped on RC211V official machine last November in Valencia and Malaysia and I immediately had a great feeling with it. I am looking forward to test it again," he says.
Stoner and the LCR Honda MotoGP team will be out in action late in January for the first test session of the year at the Malaysian Sepang circuit.