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Casey Stoner To Test Factory Honda At Motegi
British publication MotorcycleNews.com is reporting that 2007 and 2011 MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will test a factory Honda RC213V at the Twin Ring Motegi, Honda’s test track, August 6-7. Stoner’s shock retirement from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season was met with skepticism in some circles, as many believed (and still do) that the 27 year-old, current Australian V8 Supercar driver would eventually make a comeback to two wheels.
As it stands, HRC has no plans to enter Stoner as a wildcard entry at Phillip Island or Motegi MotoGP rounds, and insists the former champion’s services are being used strictly to help develop next year’s RC213V and the 1000cc production racer Honda plans to introduce next year.
The test is one of four scheduled with the Australian, and both sides are taking it seriously. MCN reports Stoner’s former crew chief Cristian Gabbarini, who is now a vital part of Repsol Honda as technical supervisor, is attending and Ohlins is understood to have prepped a set of 2012 spec forks to be shipped to Japan direct from last weekend’s Laguna Seca MotoGP race in California. All to prepare the bike to the exact settings Stoner used the last time he raced at Motegi.
Stoner insists he has no intentions of returning to MotoGP, instead wanting to remain in his native Australia to be closer to his family and help raise his young daughter. But certainly this news will get the rumor mill buzzing as to the fast and straight-shooting Aussie’s future intentions.
Do you think Stoner will make a return to MotoGP? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.