Honda Racing has announced that former MotoGP world champion, Casey Stoner, will return to the track this year for the first time since his 2012 retirement from Grand Prix racing. Stoner will conduct four tests in Motegi aboard the RC213V, with plans to test the production racer Honda plans to make available to teams in MotoGP next year. Rumors have circulated recently that the Australian rider would make a wild card appearance sometime this season, but the Honda PR dismisses that possibility. Stoner and HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto offered their comments in the announcement, both of which are included below.
"It's been almost 7 months now since Valencia and I'm still happy and comfortable with the decision I made to stop racing. Sometimes I miss riding my RCV, so I am happy that HRC asked me to do some tests in Motegi this year. This will allow me to enjoy what I miss: riding a MotoGP bike! I'm looking forward to getting on the bike and see how it has changed from last year and I'd like to thank Honda for this opportunity"
"We are very pleased to have Casey back on a Honda! He knows this machine very well and I'm sure he can help our engineers and technicians with the development of the RC213V. We will also ask him to test the new production racer and give us his initial feedback to assist us in producing the best machine possible"