Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 02 Mar 2015
A rumour too good to be true?
Two-times MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner could be set to come out of retirement later this year with an appearance for Honda at the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour.
The Aussie tested the Suzuka 8hr CBR1000RR Fireblade at one of his scheduled MotoGP tests in Sepang last month and now, according to reports in the Italian press, he is considering a one-off appearance at the event this July.
Stoner hung up his leathers at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season and vowed never to race bikes again, but a ride at the Suzuka 8-Hour could be plausible.
One of the main reasons for Stoner’s retirement was that he wasn’t fond of the political side of racing; the media and sponsor activieis each rider has to fulfill. Riders at the 8-Hour are expected to focus solely on racing with media tasks at a minimum. One thing on Stoner’s side in that respect is that most of the media in attendance at Suzuka don’t speak particularly good English.
Stoner has kept close with HRC since his retirement, testing their MotoGP bikes for the last two years. He even said he'd take a break from any riding in 2014 but still ended up testing the RC213V in Motegi towards the end of last season.
With both Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam having left Honda in World Superbikes this season, Honda are without two of their three star riders from the last two years. This leaves twice Suzuka winner Michael van der Mark without a strong teammate, unless Sylvain Guintoli was to step up to the mark.
Could this be true? Bike Social has put a line into Honda for a comment... let's see what they come up with!