Honda today issued a press release confirming the news yesterday that Casey Stoner is to test Honda's 2014 MotoGP machines. He will do a total of four tests at Motegi, riding both the 2014 Honda RC213V and the production racer version of the bike, to be sold to private teams. Stoner is stepping in to take the place of Honda's official test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi, who broke his thigh and suffered a bruised lung in a crash in the Japanese Superbike championship at the end of June. The press release rules out any wild card rides this season.
The HRC press release appears below:
Casey Stoner to test for HRC
Casey Stoner will climb back on a Honda RC213V, for the first time since Valencia 2012, as a test rider for Honda Racing Corporation. The two-time World Champion left the sport at the end of last year and has been linked with rumours of a wild card appearance this season but this is now out of the question. The Australian rider will do four tests in Motegi in the next few months with Honda Racing's R&D team, working on the evolution of the RC213V and also on the new production racer bike that Honda Racing will sell to selected team next year to race in MotoGP.
"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 i t has changed from last year and I'd like to thank Honda for this opportunity"
Shuhei Nakamoto - HRC Executive Vice President
"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"