As the weekend of the Portuguese Grand Prix approaches, speculation concerning Casey Stoner is once again stirring on whether the Australian will actually race at Estoril. Little has been heard from the 2007 World Champion since his return to his native Australia, other than some speculation and a brief interview about a fishing trip. While undoubtedly good for Stoner's recovery, this radio silence has done nothing to shed light on Stoner's situation and the burning question in the minds of MotoGP fans and followers of whether the Australian will actually be making a return or not.
Naturally, Ducati has tried to do whatever it can to quash any speculation, and as part of that information offensive, Ducati team boss Livio Suppo spoke to the Spanish state broadcaster RTVE. During the interview, Suppo affirmed that he was sure that Stoner would be back in action at Estoril. "At this moment, we have no reason to think that Casey won't be back," Suppo told RTVE. "Everything is organized, we've booked the flights, we have nothing to make us think he won't be back."
Suppo also asserted that the team had been in constant contact with Stoner and his medical staff, though he had not spoken to Stoner himself, as all communication was happening through Stoner's father, Colin, who manages the young Australian. Stoner himself is avoiding taking telephone calls, under instruction from his doctors, but Ducati's doctors had spoken to the Australian's physician in Australia yesterday (Tuesday September 22nd), and had been assured that Stoner was in much better health than when he first arrived back home at the end of July.
Suppo laughed when he was reminded that all of Stoner's main rivals had said they were looking forward to his return. "Once he gets out on the track, they probably won't be so happy to have Casey back!" he joked. Suppo went on to point out that as soon as Stoner returned to testing in January of this year after having wrist surgery, he was immediately the fastest rider on the track, despite still being in pain from his wrist. "Once he gets back on the track at Estoril, I expect him to be up to speed very quickly," Suppo told RTVE.
Listen to the interview (in which the interviewer speaks in Spanish and Livio Suppo replies in Italian) below: