Posted: 23 Jul 2013
Despite retiring from MotoGP at the end of 2012, Casey Stoner is making a return to the series as a test rider for Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).
The double World Champion will be climbing back aboard a Honda RC213V for the first time since Valencia in November to undertake four tests at Japan’s Motegi circuit over the next few months. Joining Honda Racing's R&D team, he will focus his attention on the evolution of the RC213V as well as the new production racer bike that Honda Racing is planning to sell to selected teams to race in next year’s MotoGP.
Twenty-seven-year-old Australian Stoner, who won 38 races in his MotoGP career, was originally rumoured to be joining a number of rounds of the 2013 MotoGP as a wildcard rider, but with news of his test riding, this now seems to be out of the question. He said: "It's been almost seven 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."
HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto said: "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"