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Stoner Officially Returns to Ducati as Test Rider and Brand Ambassador

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As we expected, Casey Stoner is back with Ducati next year to serve as both a MotoGP test rider and brand ambassador. In addition to his lofty skills as a rider, Stoner could be invaluable to Ducati given his intimate knowledge of the Honda MotoGP bike’s performance. Here is the official announcement from Ducati:

Ducati Corse is delighted to announce that two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner will return to the Italian manufacturer next year in the role of brand ambassador and test rider.

Casey Stoner won the 2007 MotoGP World Championship on the Ducati Desmosedici GP with ten wins in eighteen races, results that also helped the Italian manufacturer to clinch the Constructors’ title. Between 2007 and 2010, Casey won a total of 23 races for Ducati.

The 30-year-old Australian from Southport (Queensland), who is widely considered to be one of the fastest and most talented riders ever, will become brand ambassador for the Bologna-based manufacturer and, as part of the agreement, will appear at the 2016 edition of World Ducati Week, scheduled to run from July 1-3. He will also take part in a selected number of MotoGP tests for the Ducati Team next year.

Casey Stoner: “It’s been a great journey with HRC over the last five years, winning the World Championship in 2011 was obviously a high point and I’ve made many friends and formed lasting relationships along the way. For 2016 I am very excited to announce that I will again be joining the Ducati team! I have so many great memories working with the people and the brand of Ducati and the opportunity to work with them again is something very special. Gigi Dall’Igna has brought with him a new approach and I’m looking forward to assisting the team, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone however I can. The Ducati brand and the Ducati fans have been such a big part of my career and my life, so it will be really great to reunite the relationship and start another chapter with this iconic brand.”

Claudio Domenicali (CEO Ducati Motor Holding): “Stoner has always remained in the hearts of all the Ducatisti and I am really pleased that he has decided to come back to our family. Casey has an extraordinary talent and with his experience he will be able to make an important contribution for Gigi and the two Andreas in the development of the Desmosedici MotoGP bike. His presence at WDW 2016 will be a special gift for all the Ducati fans and enthusiasts, who will finally have the opportunity to catch up once again with this great champion who brought the 2007 world title to Borgo Panigale and who won numerous GP races with the Desmosedici GP.”

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33 Comments

  1. Vrooom says:

    Given the utterly huge strides Ducati made this year, this could be difference maker. Iannone was already a borderline alien, providing he finished races. With Casey’s input and perhaps a bit of coaching I suspect he’ll be firmly cemented in the alien class.

  2. achesley says:

    Glad to see Casey back with the Ducati. Many fine times watching him and the others on TV. Gotta be a super plus to the Ducati program.

  3. Brian says:

    Even after 2007, Stoner showed everyone that the “unrideable” bike was still a potential race winner. With Gigi leading development, Stoner can do it again. This isn’t the first time the #27 followed #4 to a factory team. I’m not going to be shocked if he lands the factory ride by 2017. Ducati is too proud to maintain the status as a laughing stock on the grid. Dovi is a talented rider, but he lost his ride at Repsol to Stoner in the past. Will history repeat itself?

  4. Ricky Crue says:

    Dirck c’mon man! Even moderation needs to be done in “moderation”…… 🙂

    • Scott says:

      Seriously!

      Dirck, can you PLEASE explain how this “moderation” thing works??? The way I see it, it’s one of two things:

      One, it just randomly selects posts for “moderation”, which is kinda pointless if you ask me.

      Or two, certain key words or phrases set it off. If that’s the case, can you tell us what they are, so we can avoid using them in conversation? Sheesh!

      • Ricky Crue says:

        I mean I can see where some of my attempted post could’ve been viewed as a bit sarcastic/harsh 🙂 but it was all meant in good fun. Which is something this joint could use a little of lol!

      • TimC says:

        “Crap” should not cause moderation status.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        I have asked our tech person to fix this problem (too many comments going to “moderation”), but it remains a problem. Sorry, but we will keep working on it.

    • MGNorge says:

      I think I’ve only seen it with replies I’ve posted, don’t think I’ve seen it with original posts?

  5. hh says:

    Tony: Welcome Stoner back. However, it was racing that made CS a champion,not his winning personality. To be an ambassador the hope is that CS has matured into a sportsman who can bear up with grace and style. Brings to mind that few people remember Rod Laver well, the champion who could not sell much while his runner up sold his moustache & wink personality for millions. Duc wants Stoner supporters to buy ducs, yes?.

    • Scott says:

      Excellent point. I’m sure he’ll provide great feedback as a test rider. But if they want a real “ambassador”, they should hire Nicky Hayden back!

      • Kerry says:

        You’re right on the money on both counts! Stoner was a PITA but a very fast PITA. I think it’s outside his nature to be an “ambassador”. But Nicky Hayden, that man could do Ducati a world of good as a spokeman/ambassador.

      • stinkywheels says:

        Right on Scott. I’m so sorry Nicky seems to favor Honda even though they screwed him. Nicky could help sell Ducs. I wish he’d have gone to Duc WSB team. Stoner will be a forgotten champion, due to his as some see “whiney” ways. If he comes back, he won’t last long, first good crash. I’m not dissin him much, I’d quit pushing it after some scalpel sessions. It’d be nice if he proves me wrong.

  6. Provologna says:

    When Stoner rode for Ducati, how and why did he have so much more success than other Ducati riders? Whatever it was, it appears to be similar to the difference between Dani Pedrosa and MM this year, when they both rode the 2015 framed-Honda.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Talent.

    • PatrickD says:

      Capirossi had a fair bit of success with Ducati, and if you read the press release, you’ll be reminded that Ducati won the constructors championship that year.
      It was easily the best machine of the first 800cc-year machines, to the extent that Rossi was openly jealous and felt it unfair. It was probably the start of the fuel restrictions tighening over the course of subsequent seasons, as the japanese reckoned they were getting alot more fuel through the bike to make it so very quick.

    • Curly says:

      The 800 Ducati had a lot more power than the Yamahas and a bit more than the Hondas at the start of the season and I think Casey was the first of the Aliens to really come to grips with the new electronics. That advantage carried over when he jumped to Honda and he was able to do amazing “Marquez style” riding before Marquez. Rossi et al were slower in making the analog to digital jump than Stoner. Rossi, in particular I think, was held back a bit by Jerry Burgess who was, perhaps, the greatest of the analog fettlers but not so quick to accept the digital bikes.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “the fastest and the most talented person that’s touched a road racing bike” – Ben Spies

      “I recall when Valentino was dominating that in the post-race tests, he could – within four laps – do the same lap as the record in the race. “Casey could do this on the first lap.” – Andrea Dovizioso

      “The bike [Ducati] is a little bit special. I’m not going to try to deny that fact. It has some things that make it hard to get the most out of it. But the limit is so high and I think he [Stoner] just finds it. – Nikky Hayden

      The Ducati was a strong bike back then, but Stoner was clearly a special talent. Capriossi, Hayden, and Melandri, all of whom served as Stoner’s teammate at one time, never achieve results anywhere close to Stoner. In fact, Pedrosa is the only teammate that ever really seemed like he belonged on the same team as Stoner.

  7. Dino says:

    Great news for Stoner… If you can get work doing what you love… Why not!

    (BTW, love that bottom photo… Front tire just skimming off the ground while the bike is still leaned over… Rider in full tuck… And hot exhaust gas warping the light reaching the camera, in this case melting the barriers off the track in the background… Giddeyyup!)

  8. notarollingroadblock says:

    That Ducati’s got no (aero) wings. That riders’s got no (Honda) wings….

  9. Alex says:

    I’m happy for him. Finding a good job is tough right now. Hope it works out.

  10. RRocket says:

    Wonder if working for Ducati will give him a tummy ache again?

  11. Gary says:

    He may be able to run in the top 4, if he’s lucky.

  12. mickey says:

    Well it is indeed an interesting development. I doubt he will be doing any wild cards. He can’t afford to. If he does and doesn’t do well, it won’t look good for either him or Ducati. Plus his parting words about MotoGP and his competitors were not exactly “I’ll miss you guys, maybe I’ll come back some day”. His value will not be in racing, but in testing developing and showing up at shows and shaking hands.

  13. Scott says:

    Apparently the door didn’t hit him on the way out last time.

  14. Brinskee says:

    Fantastic. Here’s to hoping he’ll ride a few wildcards, and I really hope they publish his test times, be amazing to see how he compares to the Andreas. Fun stuff.

    • Ricky Crue says:

      My sentiments exactly!!!!!! 🙂

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “Here’s to hoping he’ll ride a few wildcards”

      Amen. I’d love to see him ride among the field again.

    • jimmihaffa says:

      I think it’s all well and good for Stoner and Ducati, but it really confirms to me that he’s probably no longer capable of being competitive with the new group of riders and is unlikely to get any wildcard rides. Not all MotoGP stars age well in a racing sense as we’ve seen with the likes of Elias, Melandri and others. Then there;s the Rossis and Checas of this world so who really knows?

      • Tony says:

        “but it really confirms to me that he’s probably no longer capable of being competitive”

        What gives you this impression ? He is still young. He only did a few tests a year with Honda, hardly proof of his speed or lack of.

        I seem to remember that he was at the top of his game when he retired and he might be again.

        He might not be a ‘celebrity’ like Rossi, Marquez or even Lorenzo but Motorcycle racing is not about personalities, it’s about racing a bike as fast as possible. Nobody will ever say he didn’t do that!

      • “…probably no longer capable of being competitive…”
        Don’t bet on it.

        No longer interested in being competitive?
        More likely. Remember, he walked away on top, talking smack about all things MotoGP while heading for the door.