Casey Stoner has confirmed that he will make the move into V8 Supercar competition this season after ending his time in MotoGP.
The 27-year-old denied reports that a deal had been done
just a week ago but has now confirmed that he will drive a Red Bull-backed Holden Commodore for the Triple Eight team.
Stoner's deal will see him compete in the V8 Development Series, with the Australian having spent time behind the wheel of a V8 car in recent weeks in a series of secret tests to get used to the kind of machine he will now race in the year ahead.
"It is a trial year to see how I go and how I like the sport," Stoner told the Sunday Telegraph
. "We are definitely making a commitment to it, but at the same time we don't want to go too deep in case it is not for us.
"I was going to do 75 per cent of the races, but I have decided to do them all. I want to get as much time in the seat as I can and try to understand what it is like to drive a V8."
The double MotoGP champion will make his V8 debut at the Clipsal 500 but admitted that he hadn't been thinking of moving onto four-wheels when he shocked the MotoGP paddock by announcing his retirement in May last year.
"I have been interested in V8s for a long time," he said. "I was about 14 or 15 when I decided I wanted to have a crack. I had the intention to do it then and I forgot about it because I was so wrapped up in my career.
"Once I decided to retire from bikes, there was no thought to go racing again. I wanted to have a full year off and maybe even see the world a bit.
"I wanted to slow down. But as the year went on I started considering the V8 development series. We had discussions from there and eventually got a deal done."
Stoner also revealed that he would love the opportunity to compete in the biggest race on the V8 calendar – the Bathurst 1000 – but wasn't expecting to get a call to compete in the event this year.
"I doubt anyone would want me at Bathurst, but I am not ruling it out," he said. "It is every Aussie's dream to drive there."