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Casey Stoner Testing at Motegi: Why We Need Him Back (with video)

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Casey Stoner has completed a two-day test of the Honda MotoGP bike at Motegi.  The video below is quite interesting, as you can hear Casey briefly discussing his feedback on the bike with Honda engineers (an extreme rarity), and the sound of Honda’s MotoGP weapon can be heard at full song (beautiful music, indeed).

Watching the video, we here at MD wish Stoner would come back and battle Honda’s latest superstar-in-the-making, Marc Marquez.  If that never happens, MotoGP history will be lacking an important chapter.

Here is a press release by Honda following the test, as well as an HRC video of Casey’s efforts at Motegi:

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Casey Stoner tested the Honda RC213V on Wednesday, August 7 as part of Honda’s development tests at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Tochigi, Japan.

The second day of testing was under clear blue skies. Continuing where he left off the previous day, the former double-MotoGP champion showed that he had lost none of his class since his retirement, with his steep banking angles and high average speed. Over the course of the two days, Stoner completed total 53laps, completing his first Circuit test.

Casey Stoner:
Thankfully today the weather improved a lot, in fact it was pretty hot, and we were able to get some good track time and work on our test program. We had a productive day in general and thankfully the test plan wasn’t too hectic, so we were able to get most of it done today, after yesterday’s washout. It was great to see the team, even if there were only a few people here, and I thank Honda for all their support as ever. It felt really good to get back on the bike after 9 months and I’m happy with how the test went, but it doesn’t change my mind about the wild cards – this is not something I am planning to do”

Shuhei Nakamoto, executive vice president of Honda Racing Corporation:
Over the course of Casey’s two-day test, we’ve been able to gather a vast amount of data and ideas for development. Consequently, we aim to increase our pace of development and hope that this, in turn, will lead to us winning this year’s Championship. We focused exclusively on the RC213V, but in future tests, we’ll get Casey to test-ride the tentatively named MotoGP Production Racer and assist in raising its level of performance even further”

56 Comments

  1. wayne says:

    miss this guy, his so called “whining” or straight talk was one of his best points, come back stoner

  2. Alan says:

    Maybe Stoner needs MotoGP, but right now MotoGP doesn’t really need Stoner.
    We have race wins from Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi and Marquez this year with Crutchlow, an improving Bradl and Bautista pushing ever closer to the front. Some of the best racing in years. It should be a great second half to the season.

    • royalhimenez says:

      Stoner the biggest ever. He had only one rival: himself
      Rossi is a useless muppet on competitive bike too its a shame he need to go retired instead of stoner

  3. Norm G. says:

    re: “Looks like Honda is giving Stoner the candy to draw him into racing again”

    meanwhile, repsol says “no room at the inn”.

  4. Gronde says:

    Must have gotten bored retiring so young. There’s nothing in retirement that’s as exciting as riding in MotoGP.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “There’s nothing in retirement that’s as exciting as riding in MotoGP.”

      why sure there is, it’s called seeing your daughter grow up.

  5. Larry says:

    What Guy said. Stoner comes back, we just get a fast whiner. Who needs him?

  6. Joey says:

    I’m so happy to see him “back” not that others haven’t but I would like to see some real competition with Marquez. I’m willing to bet if Stoner comes back there will be some epic battles.

  7. Gary says:

    Interesting that Honda did not reveal his lap times.

  8. TomS says:

    Wait, I thought Stoner was tired of the sport, didn’t like the direction MotoGP had gone, blah, blah, blah….. maybe he needs some cash to buy another vacation home.

    Whatever! He’s a great talent with a mouth to match. Let’s see him mix it up with some of the new blood.

  9. MGNorge says:

    Whether or not Stoner returns to active racing is yet to be seen but as a development rider he is priceless. As mentioned in the article, Honda hopes to speed up their development and push ahead at an increased pace. For that I could care less about his personality.

  10. Guy says:

    Please dont come back Stoner, we have all the talent we need in Moto GP with none of the whining

  11. MotoChris says:

    Marquez has all of Stoner’s speed with none of the whining, good riddance.

  12. Tommy S. says:

    Let him back on the Ducati. That would be a better test to show his talent.

  13. Brian says:

    No hiding his talent, even if it didn’t show up in 2006 consistently. He was an amazing person to watch on TV and at the track.
    Whether or not his personality was to be desired, and I don’t really blame him for dissing the media, but he shouldn’t do that to the fans. It happened more than once when I was at the track for races. Despite his personality, even Mladin was cool with the fans during AMA events and talked to us more than once.
    Marquez went to the Rossi school of fan appreciation and made most in the paddock say “Stoner who?”

  14. Rich says:

    Amusing how so many do not care for Mr. Stoner yet Honda – not known for tolerating disloyalty – gladly took him after he left his initial Honda satellite ride for the Ducati factory seat. HRC seems to love him. I’ve never found him to be as repulsive as some and admire him immensely.

    I want to see great action on the track – not a friend to have a beer with.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I want to see great action on the track – not a friend to have a beer with.”

      yup, i’ve already named the godfather to my children.

  15. KevinJ says:

    I miss Stoner. MotoGP is not as good without him. I didn’t always agree with his comments but so what? He was a brilliant rider. His ability to ride that Ducati was jaw dropping. He was the only rider I have ever heard tell Rossi exactly what he thought. I don’t care what his political views are, his favorite color, whether he likes ice cream, etc. He was one of the best riders I ever saw, period. The racing could only be better with him in the mix. I respect his decision to leave because it’s his life. If he decides to come back, I will respect that decision too.

  16. hrembe says:

    I would like to Stoner back and I may be in the minority here but I liked his personality. Onthe other things mentioned I would really love to see all the BS rules aimed at leveling the field GONE. It is GP racing for godsake race what your willing to invest that is why todays sportbikes are as good as they are. If you must have playground “fairness” go race nascar.

    • MGNorge says:

      It costs truck loads of cash but I’m with you. GP racing is the premier class and leveling anything detracts from that. If in one season a particular bike/rider pull away from the field well, that’s racing. If not before the next season, let the other teams pull out the stops to get back in the game. This IS what’s given us the bikes we have today, at least the highly advanced ones.

  17. Jim says:

    That just puts BS to the reason he retired to begin with. Was this simply a PR campaign? What next, his MotoGP reality show?

  18. DorsoDoug says:

    Good vs Evil. Every sport needs someone to hate. Keeps it interesting and the fans engaged. Especially when the bad guy is a winner. Does anyone see any similarities between Stoner and Mladin? What did he do for our sport? Mladin was a no nonsense businessman. And there we tons of good guys in pursuit. Matt was a tough guy to like on a personal level, but an easy guy to respect as a craftsman. I’ll enjoy it when Stoner returns.

  19. Colors says:

    I heard Stoner was gunna race MotoGP on the new Indian next year.

  20. Rick says:

    Honestly I wish he would just go away and stay away. The guy is a great rider but his personality truly puts me off. The guy is just a crybaby quitter.

  21. Chaz says:

    If we want all-Honda podiums, with an occasional Yamaha appearance, then Stoner’s return would assure that result. It would also probably be another blow to MotoGP’s appeal.

  22. Hot Dog says:

    He’s too nasty, surly, and disrespectful to do any good for Moto GP. He should wear a helmet like Darth Vader, it match his current test bike and his always smiley face—not!

    • Roberto says:

      Stoner has given MotoGP fans plenty of reasons not to like him…I believe he’s okay with that. As a fan, I always want to see the best possible talent on the grid irregardless of me liking each and every one. Stoner is one of the best and it would have been nice to see him competing against the other top riders this year.

    • bikerrandy says:

      Thin of MC road racing like pro-wrestling. Guys you like and guys you don’t. May the best racer win, regardless.

      Personally I liked Stoner’s personality of tell it like he really sees it. Not trying to be everybodies buddy. And I don’t need anyone’s autograph to like them. They earn my respect at what they do on the track, not what they say later.

      • mickey says:

        I dont care what their individual personalities are like, they are not in my social circle anyway. Just that they can ride the wheels off a MotoGp bike.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      I agree. My favorite racer was Giuseppe Wainwright. Always qualified last, even when he was on the best bike, and always got lapped, even by the Ducatis. But despite the painful experience of watching him ride so poorly, I obsessed over every little snippet or quip he might make off the track. He was so sweet, respectful and responsible, he became my favorite racer. He really added to the show.

    • Tim says:

      These guys are all among the best in the world at what they do. Somes guys need to have that nasty edge to help motivate them. In Stoner’s case I think it is just that he’s a really private person who doesn’t have that outgoing personality.

      I didn’t like Lorenzo’s lack of respect to Rossi when he first came up, but turns out he just believed he was better, and he didn’t wilt under Rossi’s pressure down the stretch in races (unlike the previous possible successors to the throne). Now that Lorenzo’s proven he’s “the man” his attitude just seems softer and he seems more likeable. He even welcomed back Rossi to the team with open arms. I think he just used that earlier attitude to his advantage, and didn’t intend to concede anything to the GOAT. He believed he was better, so why bow down? It served him well.

  23. SausageCreature says:

    I’d like to get excited by MotoGP, but I just can’t.

    I think the spec tire rule really backfired. Factories are now forced to find riders and build bikes that suit the tire, rather than choosing (or working with the tire manufacturers to design) the tire that fits the bike and the rider…with varying degrees of success. By the third race, it’s pretty much already clear which two (at best) factories got it somewhat right. And even then, only one or two of their riders get the equipment that works best. There’s a precipitous drop-off after that. By this point in the season, one wonders why the others even show up. Foregone Conclusion, thy name is MotoGP.

    Also, the whole CRT thing seems to have injected exactly as much excitement as most predicted it would: none. One wonders if its only purpose was to make the starting grid look deceptively larger.

    And don’t get me started on the fuel limits…

    • “And don’t get me started on the fuel limits…”

      Agreed.

      Wouldn’t you think the tires serve as an adequate “limiting factor” or equalizer? The fuel thing seems superfluous.

      More on-topic to the current story, nope, don’t miss Stoner a bit. Prodigious talent? For sure. But we have other fast riders with interesting personalities and stories. Don’t need ‘im one little bit. For me, every time he opened his mouth it became not worth it to watch him ride.

      Cheers!

      • TimC says:

        “And don’t get me started on the fuel limits…”

        Double agreed. I remember the farce that was Group C.

    • mickey says:

      You are aware that the point spread between the top 5 riders in MotoGP is closer than the point spread between the top 5 riders in WSBK right?

      I agree with you to a point about the tires. I agree completely about the CRTs, and about fuel limits. You forgot to mention the absurd differing number of motors allowed rule.

      The best riders, earn the best bikes, making them even tougher to beat. It’s like that in every sporting endeavor, always has, always will, unless you do something like the race of champions with everyone on identical bikes. Even then, the best riders will generally win.

      • PatrickD says:

        There are two races and 50 points per round of WSB, so they are in effect closer than the MotoGP riders. The fact that there have been such serious injuries in MotoGP is the reason the championship is relatively close this year, nothing to fo with the spread of ability and machinery.

        That Rossi actually won a race was headline news. Wow. someone outside the top three actually won a race. There are at least six people with a strong chance of winiing a WSB race every weekend. Big difference.

        • mickey says:

          Hmm with more races worth more points wouldn’t it be easier to ” catch back up” if you had a bad race?

          When it comes down to the end, as I’ve demonstrated with facts on this board before, even though its possible for an individual to win a race in WSBK, it,s only possible for 4 to possibly win the Championship. The creme always rises to the top, and in any series, there is only so much creme, be it MotoGP, WSBK, Moto 3, Moto 2, doesn’t matter. A few are always superior to the masses.

    • Rich says:

      The fuel limits are utterly ridiculous. Racing as a fuel economy run? My god how absurd.

    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      CRT bikes are basically filling spots on the starting grid.
      Why else would you allow these bikes, which use production-based engines, in a class that is supposed to be all factory (works) prototypes?

      Ridiculous.

  24. Tim says:

    I agree, if he was added back to the mix, it would be an incredible collection of talent with Lorenzo, Stoner, Marquez, Pedrosa and Rossi. I would love to see it. However, the guy has a young family. I admire the fact that he was willing to sacrifice his career for the good of his family. Honda should respect that and not do anything to attempt to entice him back. If he makes the choice to return on his own, then so be it. If Honda entices him back, and he suffers a catastrophic injury, those responsible would have a hard time living with themselves.

    • Jim says:

      Not sure how Pedrosa makes that list…

      • mickey says:

        You’re kidding right?

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          You guys sound like a bunch of NASCAR fans. Maybe MotoGP is finally on its way to the big time after all!

      • Vrooom says:

        How does Pedrosa make that list? Well he’s in second place in the championship standings, has won several races this year, and is routinely in the top 5 riders in the championship. I’d probably add Crutchlow to that list, the guy has podiumed 4 times this year with several second place finishes, along with running out of gas in second place on the last lap once.

        • mickey says:

          No kidding…Pedrosa..125 world champion, twice 250 world champion ( he won nearly half of his 250 starts), in MotoGP 124 starts, 24 wins, 76 podiums, 26 poles..probably the best rider to never win a MotoGP World Championship. Great rider.

          Crutchlow was certainly making a name for himself. Finally learning its better to finish sixth and getting points, than crashing. Now hes going to Ducati and I fear for his development.

        • Tim says:

          Good point on Crutchlow. This is maybe the most talented group of riders in my memory, all at one time. If Stoner did come back it would get crazier.

          As for Pedrosa, his problem has been careless crashes. When he puts it all together he is as good as anyone, then he has a brain fart and crashes. But that doesn’t take away from his talent.

  25. Ricardo says:

    Looks like Honda is giving Stoner the candy to draw him into racing again, just like a little kid he might fall into the trap and I really hope he does, so we can see exciting racing between Stoner, Marquez. Lorenzo and Pedrosa.

    • Bob says:

      I still seriously dobt that he’s interested in ever coming back to GP.

      He loves to race.

      But…

      He hates politics, ever changing rules and seriously dumbing down the series with spec components (getting worse), press conferences and marketing/advertising commitments.

      As an occasional test rider, he gets to get his rocks off by riding a seriously fast bike and not have to deal with the other crap he dislikes.

      Why go back?