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Casey Stoner Returns to Honda as Test Rider

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Multi-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner retired from racing last year at the ripe old age of 27, 7 years younger than Valentino Rossi. Speculation has never ended that the young man who stood at the top of motorcycle racing might change his mind and return some day. Is this a first step?

Australian Press, quoting good friend and fellow Honda alum, Mick Doohan, might have been the first to report on the arrangement that brings Stoner back to Honda to test the current RC213V at Motegi beginning August 6th. Stoner will reportedly also test a prototype of next year’s MotoGP weapon for Honda. Apparently, Stoner has agreed to four days of testing, both at Motegi and later at other circuits.

You may recall that HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto (pictured above with Stoner) stated in an interview published on MD that “if [Stoner] ever decides to come back he will find a warm welcome waiting [from Honda].” Both Honda and Stoner are currently denying that there are any plans for Stoner to race at this point, either as a wild card or under contract. It is hardly speculation, however, that Honda would love to see Stoner alongside Marc Marquez at some time in the future.

17 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    If he laps quicker than Markie he’ll stay retired.
    If he doesn’t, he’ll be back.

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  2. Norm G. says:

    ya know, even just being a test rider for Honda is kind of a waste. it’s a further “concentration of power”. I mean does Honda really NEED casey as test rider…? the current test riders seem to have done a fine job in getting the 213 to where it is. I imagine it goes without saying, the people who need to pay him a prince’s sum for testing and development would be ducati, maybe even Yamaha. hell, I might even be tempted to sign-off on him doing donkey work for Suzuki. note, but definitely no racing of the Suzuki, so don’t anybody get carried away. :)

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  3. Ricardo says:

    Stoner is a great rider, even if we can only see him doing testing of the bikes for Honda, it will still be a trait. He is just an amazing riding on the corners and sliding the back end….

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  4. Gary says:

    Wow … I sure hope he returns. In one year (two tops) he’ll be the only one who can compete with Marquez.

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  5. Ralph says:

    I wouldn’t count your chickens yet. Getting paid to ride the latest toys in a non-race environment sounds like a pretty good gig to me.

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  6. mickey says:

    I cant imagine Stoner going back to the schedule of racing. His wife would not like that . Testing would be more random,just every once in awhile. He can ride without fear of getting knocked down too, just putting in the laps.

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    • BlackCayman says:

      yep, he can enjoy the ride, only push it 85% or so to keep it in a safe margin, no other riders to worry about. A win win for him and Honda.

      But what if…..

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  7. ninja9r says:

    bye, bye Dani.

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  8. ?Shaunock says:

    They couldn’t convince him to stay with the $25 million offer last year, I wonder what the testing contract is worth.

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  9. Norm G. says:

    re: “Honda would love to see Stoner alongside Marc Marquez at some time in the future.”

    but would Repsol love that more than their 2 Iberian princes…?

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  10. VLJ says:

    Now why do I get the feeling that this sudden change of heart from Casey doesn’t come about if not for a certain 20-year-old rookie sensation doing unheard of things with his old ride?

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    • Norm G. says:

      he’s wasting his time. he’s not Spanish. the “Rise of Marquez” has been pre-ordained. the script has been written. do you know how many man-hours it takes to produce one of these reality TV shows…?

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  11. Pork Chop Express says:

    Uh oh, Dani better win the title now or he definitely won’t have a spot at Honda next year if Casey comes back.

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