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Stoner to Honda for 2011 MotoGP

Friday, July 9, 2010
Former MotoGP champion Casey Stoner will move from Ducati to Honda for 2011. After a four-year stint with the factory Ducati squad, Stoner’s move to the Repsol Honda team was confirmed early this morning. The long-rumored rider swap is one of the biggest pieces of the 2011 rider puzzle, with Stoner’s vacated Ducati seat expected to be filled by Valentino Rossi.
After taking the second-fastest time in practice  Ducatis Casey Stoner was irritated over Loris Capirossi not moving off the racing line.
After a four-year stint that included a title in 2007, Casey Stoner will leave Ducati for Honda in 2011.

“I must thank Ducati for giving me such a great opportunity to race and win with them over these past four years” said Stoner in the Marlboro Ducati team’s press announcement. “They took a gamble when they signed me at the end of 2006 as I was unknown, but as we worked together we were able to win a Championship, many races and challenge for the Championship in the last two seasons. I have now decided to move on and I will have new challenges in the future and different obstacles to overcome, but I will not forget these years with Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work so closely with. So a big thanks to Ducati and all our sponsors who we have shared success with while achieving lifelong goals.”

Stoner joined Ducati in 2007, when he campaigned the new 800cc Desmosedici to a stunning MotoGP championship. The 24-year-old’s tenure with the Italian factory since that high-water mark has seen sporadic fortunes, with a serious title run in 2008 against Rossi followed by a disappointing 2009 season where the Australian missed multiple GPs due to a mysterious medical ailment (later reportedly diagnosed as lactose intolerance). This season Stoner’s title bid got started with multiple DNFs in the opening rounds, the usual podium threat not securing his first rostrum until Round 6 of the championship.

Ducati Corse General Director Pilippo Presiosi said of the rider move, “I would like to thank Casey on behalf of our fans and our sponsors, but most of all on behalf of all the people working at Ducati. The victories and emotions he gave us, rewarded all the hard work and sacrifice we made. In these four years together we have had a lot of great moments. Securing the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title and the victory at Mugello in 2009 were moments that we will never forget. In Casey we not only found an incredibly talented rider, but also an honest and loyal guy and that’s why there will always be a strong and sincere bond between us, even as a competitor.”
Stoners incredible results at Losail extend into raceday where he finished  fifth overall - Qatar
Stoner campaigned for Honda during his rookie MotoGP season, with the Australian rider for the LCR satellite team.

The move to Honda is a return to the manufacturer which plucked the Aussie out of the 250 ranks, with Stoner having campaigned his rookie MotoGP season aboard the LCR satellite team. It appears that Stoner will compete alongside Repsol Honda teammates Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso for 2011, with HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto saying in Honda’s press announcement:

"We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year. Clearly he is one of the top riders in MotoGP and he will bring valuable speed and experience to our team. In the factory Honda squad we already have two very strong and experienced riders in Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso who are performing very well and currently hold second and third positions in the 2010 World Championship. HRC hopes also to retain these two riders for next year - giving us what would be a truly formidable line-up."

With Stoner’s move confirmed, Rossi’s rumored switch to Ducati is now expected. That would leave the empty Fiat Yamaha seat open to be filled, presumably, by standout rookie and current satellite Yamaha rider Ben Spies.
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ipl45678@yahoo.com -Rizla suzuki continues struggle in 800cc MotoGP  January 19, 2011 09:25 AM
It was tuff luck for Rizla Suzuki after 2002 in 800cc motoGP i know history of suzuki how V Rossi's father G rossi run the Rizla's in 1978 what the fuck Rizla management are doing, can they don't need good drivers why they don't do agreement with Caesey stoner the thunder of 2007 for 2011 season,they get a lack teamate,because CAPIROSSI time now over with RIZLA.I personally big fan of SUZUKI and i want to see that blue GSV R800 won the motoGP title with a good experience driver.
Siv -udoos  October 5, 2010 05:13 AM
great things to watch in 2011: Rossi's Ducati Lorenzo's Yamaha Stoner's Honda
twistedtat -BIG SPIES  July 12, 2010 12:19 PM
spies is going to run off from everyone if they give him
a big factory ride like fiat yamaha.
x2468 -3 bike team?  July 10, 2010 09:15 PM
So factory Honda will be feilding THREE riders next season? Dovi, Pedrosa AND Stoner?? wow. I think they really want to get back to winning. I think Rossi on the Ducati and Spies on the factory yamaha will be exciting. But i'll miss seeing stoner on the Ducati for some reason. I feel it fit with him.
charlie toast -Can't wait!  July 9, 2010 03:30 PM
It looks like 2011 will be a great season! Spies against Lorenzo - will there be a wall in the garage? Will Rossi be able to get the Ducati working right away? I hope Hayden does hang on to his seat, and I think it would be a wise move for Ducati to retain him.
R34 -Musical Chairs  July 9, 2010 01:23 PM
Hope Hayden doesn't lose his ride...If he can hold on one more year, i know he will be a force when they go back to 1000's. Last thing I want to see is De Puniet take his seat since he's making a splash or Elias if he wins Moto2
Tim B -Change is good for all involved.  July 9, 2010 10:39 AM
I think this swap benefits all four parties involved - Ducati, Honda, Rossi, and Stoner. Change is a good thing. I can't wait to see Rossi finish his career putting the Italian Stallion of bikes on the top podium at the end of the season.
AaronW -Fiat Yamaha Super Team  July 9, 2010 09:32 AM
As much as I love the Doctor, I can't help but think that Spies and Lorenzo would make an awesome team. Rossi on a Ducati would be a power house team all by him self.