Casey Stoner To Test Honda's MotoGP Bikes At Motegi, Racing Ruled Out

Motorcycle News are reporting that Casey Stoner is to test Honda's 2014 RC213V at Motegi in August. The former two-time World Champion will ride both next year's factory machine, as well as the production racer version which Honda are preparing to sell to private teams, and which Scott Redding has been linked with riding at Gresini next season.

HRC have flatly denied that the test is a prelude to a MotoGP return for the Australian, according to MCN. Stoner will not race as a wildcard in either Phillip Island or Motegi, as early rumors have suggested. According to MCN's Matthew Birt on Twitter, Casey Stoner is "still 100% happy with his decision to retire."

Rumors that Stoner was considering a return to racing have been circulating almost since he hung up his leathers at Valencia last year. Those rumors have been fueled by Stoner's statements in the press, where has expressed frustration at some aspects of racing in the Dunlop V8 Supercars feeder series. His announcement that he will not be competing in the Bathurst 1000 was interpreted as a sign he could exit the series at the end of the season, speculation fueled by the fact that he is yet to confirm his plans for 2014.

Stoner's first year back at home has got off to a bumpy start, as the Australian has been forced to spend a good deal of the year out of his native country. He had retired to spend more time at home with his family, but Australia's tax year - which runs from July to July - meant that he was still on an ex-pat tax regime, having lived in Switzerland while he finished his final year in MotoGP. To avoid tax complications, Stoner has been forced to travel to the US and elsewhere in the first half of this year, but now that the new tax year has started, he is able to return to Australia and live and work under the normal tax regime for Australian residents. Being able to spend much more of his time at home should make it easier for him to make a decision about his plans for next year.

Back to top


Rossi,Capirossi and blah. Back to testing the HRC bike...plausible. Quickest bloody test rider they could hope for. Maybe Audi/Ducati could twist his arm into developing a Ducati L-4 that he was never granted a chance to back then.
Tax haven Bologna.As for a wild card entry forget it. The bloke retired and as ever when he called a foul a foul he stuck by it. I don't see that changing much.
Most likely see him trolling around P1 this year alongside Wayne,Troy and Mick pre race. Whether he will be on a Panigale or a Fireblade is a moot point.

So, now that Stoner can finally move back to Australia following his tax related exile after retiring from MotoGP he plans to fly straight to Japan to test ride the new MotoGP Honda?

Just making sure I have this straight :)

In order to maintain his expat tax status for 2013 he has to spend at least 183 days outside Australia. Very simple. A couple of days spent testing in Japan is to his advantage tax wise.

He was commenting in an article that even though the V8s were in Australia he felt far too busy and wanted to take 2014 off to spend more time at home. So the way to fix that is to fly to a foreighn country, where your native tongue is not spoken, and ride racebikes? OK then. LMAO.

Stoner + Marquez would be Honda's dream team, not much doubt about that. I can imagine Honda's executives dreaming of total domination of MotoGP with those two. I have no doubt Stoner would surprise those people who think that Marquez is the second coming. As talented as he is, I seriously doubt Marquez would have won any races if Stoner was still around, and certainly not Laguna Seca. And it seems such a waste that one of MotoGP's greatest riders is sitting on the sidelines or racing in a motorsport backwater like the Dunlop V8 series at such a young age when he could be out there matching it with Marquez and co. on the world stage.

Nevertheless, the official explanation for the test is entirely consistent with what Stoner has said in the past, despite your scepticism. He loves riding MotoGP bikes, just doesn't like all the extraneous stuff attached to the MotoGP circus. Also he doesn't get on with Ezpeleta. The Australian east coast to Japan is about 9 hours flying time, hardly very taxing. I fail to see what relevance flying to a foreign country for testing has got to to with anything. The testing would be a minimal disruption to his family life. No different to flying or driving for a fishing trip somewhere, which is the other thing Stoner enjoys.

mate you make it sound like stoner won almost all of the races during his 2 years at repsol honda..i don't remember that being the case in the first half of 2012 season at all (not considering the 2nd half because he was injured for a bunch of races in the 2nd half).

marquez may or may not have won sachsenring and laguna seca either if lorenzo and dani weren't nursing broken collarbones and dizzyness. things can, in principle, go that way and a lot of other ways as well, if you want to think about could have beens and would have beens.

Almost all the races? Where did you get that from? MM has won three races, so they would be the ones in question.

Look, Marquez is a super talent, but the kid has been extraordinarily lucky. Not since Rossi joined MotoGP has a rookie had such material advantages.

1. Stoner retires (and this is a biggie). Not only does Marquez not have to compete head to head with one of the fastest ever motorcycle riders, but he inherits Stoner's race winning bike, some of Stoner's championship winning crew, and Stoner's bike settings (an advantage because of their similarities in style).
2. Marquez has had several crashes, including an incredible ultra high speed crash at Mugello that could so easily have been have been fatal (remember Kato's similar accident), yet walks away largely uninjured.
3. The two top riders also have crashes, but unlike the lucky Marquez, incredibly both of them sustain serious injuries that means that they miss races, and are still physically handicapped.

Now, the races:

1. COTM: I think Stoner would have won this one easily. His ability to be instantly fast on any bike in any conditions always set him apart from his rivals, and the track would suit him.
2. Sachsenring: MM was very fast, and may well have won against all comers. But, Crutchlow was close and matching him for speed, so it is still possible that Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner (if he was racing) could have beaten MM.
3. LS: Marquez was quite slow at LS, 15 seconds slower than Stoner last year. Stoner had won the previous two years. I have no doubt that Stoner would have easily beaten Marquez at LS, and maybe a fit Lorenzo and Pedrosa would also have beaten MM.

Marquez is having an amazing rookie year, but as I said he has also been extraordinarily lucky, so a lot of the hype is really over the top. But the media is looking for a new super hero. The old super hero, Rossi, has become just another good rider on the track, largely out of contention for race wins (even Rossi admitted that a fit Lorenzo would have beaten him at Assen). Stoner was the evil anti hero, the guy that permanently tarnished the super hero's reputation, hence the fan hate directed at Stoner. Stoner's gone, Rossi is fading, but the media need something to write about and talk about, something to get the fans excited and engaged (or enraged), hence the over-the-top hype.

But I have no doubt that Marquez/Stoner would be HRC's dream time, and if it happened real MotoGP fans would love it. Haters will hate no matter what but who cares? It's such a pity Stoner didn't hang around a bit longer. But the dream team seems very unlikely to happen.

MM has also podium'd at all but 1 race.

Luck is merely the inability to explain occurances.

notice that MM hasn't done the high side, which is what is badly injuring everyone else?

Is it lucky then that JL came back and raced for 5th at Assen? or was it determination?

Is it luck that DP hasn't needed surgery on his collarbone?

While true that MM has been given an excellent bike/team etc...the same held true for Vale, Dani and Jorge when they entered the class, all of them receiving factory backed efforts with top crews.

What is undeniable is the achievements MM has achieved so far. To say it's luck is the same to say that Vale's 7 premier class championships were matters of luck. Things happen in racing, injuries, retirements, faster, younger, stronger riders.

MM has also podium'd at all but 1 race.

Luck is merely the inability to explain occurances.

notice that MM hasn't done the high side, which is what is badly injuring everyone else?

Is it lucky then that JL came back and raced for 5th at Assen? or was it determination?

Is it luck that DP hasn't needed surgery on his collarbone?

While true that MM has been given an excellent bike/team etc...the same held true for Vale, Dani and Jorge when they entered the class, all of them receiving factory backed efforts with top crews.

What is undeniable is the achievements MM has achieved so far. To say it's luck is the same to say that Vale's 7 premier class championships were matters of luck. Things happen in racing, injuries, retirements, faster, younger, stronger riders.

Yum! Casey and Mark on hot, buttered tarmac - that sounds like a tasty breakfast treat with a cup of strong black coffee. I'd certainly set the alarm to see that live.
Does anybody doubt HRC would find the cash to support another factory ride if Stoner changed his mind? After all, he's not Spanish - in fact, Australia's next door to Hawaii - he's practically an American.

First of all, fair play to Casey,if he wants to do it. Off you toddle son. Enjoy, pretty sure I would (could I actually ride one of the bloody things). Secondly, the only time I'll believe Casey Stoner is returning to race in Moto GP for Honda is when I see him sitting in a pit box wearing Respol leathers.

As it stands, he's not coming back. And if he did, would this not constitute a MASSIVE U-turn from him? My next point is this, and there is ZERO malice involved in this. I'm simply asking a question. Given the way Marquez has been throwing that RC213V about. Is he actually THAT missed? The constant references to Stoners style have pretty much dropped away from the coverage I watch.

He's certainly a great choice for HRC to do some dev work. That's a given, is this a prelude to Suppo and Nakamoto trying to talk him back into the paddock? You can't rule it out, but I think those bridges have been burned. And I cannot see them being repaired.

Nakamoto said publicly at the time, that Honda would have him back in a heartbeat, should he change his mind.

I don't believe that is ever going to happen, but this could be a trade-off that makes both Honda and Stoner happy.

Employing him as their test rider is probably the best that Honda can hope for - they sure as hell won't find a faster test rider outside of their factory team riders, who have limits on testing time.

Interesting. I think we will see Casey in a motogp race or 5 in 2014. imagine Casey vs Marc vs Vale vs Dani vs Jorge vs Crutchpiece?

Anyway David, its only a couple of weeks since you were semi ridiculing and and questioning the Journalistic quality of Thundersprint organiser Al Melling for making similar, if grander predictions. What brought about the change of mind?


Krop, I'll bet you a beer that Stoner rides the 2014 prototype at Philip Island this year.

(At least, that's what I'd really like to see!)

Seeing he tends to like a challenge , maybe looking at
Marquez riding around like he is doing atm might entice his appetite to return. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing such a thing happening.

I had to have a quick check of the date, to make sure it wasnt April 1st!

Good news. I hope the testing is available to view somewhere, other than
I was glad at the time that he retired, checking out before his body did. But it would be amazing to see him turn out at PI this year... Probably not going to happen, but ya never know..

But Honda hardly need his help really. Would he ever do some testing for Ducati? (or Yamaha?)

... there was a bike available for him to be competitive. While I like to think HRC would ditch Dani P in a heartbeat should he not win the championship this year and Casey returns 2014, the mere possibility of a return, yet again, underlines the need for more competitive machines.

Given I've read many saying this last point, it seems perverse to limit MSMA entires to just four each. Surely, if a team can afford them they should be permitted to buy one to run?

I do not think he'll actually go back to racing. Read the incredible article on this story on some unnamed American motorsports website and I think you'll find out why.

My point is, they're not the only one. It's exactly the same in other publications from other countries. I suppose that's partly his own fault, his relationship with the media has always been strained from both sides. Then again, who's talking about Ducati anymore?

That's one reason I do like this site, it tries its best to approach every subject from a standpoint that's as close to objective it can get. David balances that out by, after giving facts, stating his personal, usually very well informed, opinion. Just the way I like my journalism.

Surely Casey's the worst guy to have testing your bike?

Think how fundamentally flawed the Ducati of Death was then and is now. With him riding, it might be the worst bike in the world, but he'd still pull a decent lap time out of it.

Besides, it'd surely make much more sense to let all the guys in their current line up have a go on it and try to make a bike that everybody can go quickly on? Given that they'll likely be the ones riding the things next year, and all that.

considering that Marquez has been using Stoner's settings throughout the year, it is very good idea to have Stoner do some development work on the RCV214 while the factory boys are busy doing racing and PR work.

Nakamoto has gone at length to praise Stoner's feedback.

If anything this means that the RCV214 will suit MM93 more so than DP26. Which leads me to the conclusion that MM is going to be the next multi-World Champion.

Has Casey officially denied that he won't be racing at Phillip island yet? Then we can take it as a confirmation that he will!

All I hope is that he gets to ride and enjoy it. If he gets to do that at HRC's courtesy without the MotoGP circus that he disdained then good for all. I cringe a little when the rabid Stonerites invent a story of his return whenever he scratches his nuts in a way to give them hope but personally would still welcome anything Stoner and modern GP machinery, even if just a tease.

Another tidbit against him lining up on a grid. His crew are now behind Marquez. Who's going to fettle his bike? They wouldn't leave a career behind a future champion for a one off wild card by a former champ.

Truly though. If anyone want's to get the definitive word on if he comes back for a race then we need to ask Rossi. He seemed to peg the notion that Lorenzo would race in Laguna before Lorenzo knew he was going to race in Laguna. ( ;

Casey is 'testing' for HRC. NO??? What he is really doing is practicing before his comeback. Will he ride the 2014 RCV? Yes. Will he ride the P-Racer? Yes. He will be giving feedback to the HRC engineers for the direction of those 2 machines. But don't you believe just what's in print! Stoner will be riding the 2013 RCV for a lot of laps and then some more. Once he enjoys riding again, he will agree to be a wildcard at Motegi and Phillip Island. Then decide if he wants a contract for 2014 with Honda. I can't see him going back to Ducati since they will need to make a decision soon for Hayden's replacement. HRC needs to get Hayden on that Gresini RCV already. But with Ohlins/Brembo equipment.

I suggested several months ago he should get a job as a test rider, away from the media spotliight & few wild card rides should he want to!

Good post-retirement relationships with the factory are not without precedent, Bayliss seems to have a similar relationship with Ducati since his retirement. I think it may be an advantage of retiring when the team are happy with you, and not when you just can't get a ride anymore.

Since the days of the King, the top level riders have complained that the factory test riders are not capable of pushing the new bikes as hard as they need to be.

All the factories know this, and now HRC has made a VERY smart call.

Not only does Honda have Livio Suppo, more importantly it has Cristian Gabbarini on its team as a technical supervisor, acting as a link between the Repsol Honda squad and HRC technical staff in Japan, communicating rider feedback and helping coordinate development of the factory RC213V. So there's Stoner's long-time crew chief cemented in at HRC and all but one of the members of Stoner's pit crew now working with Marquez.

So, Maximilian, do you consider these men as incompetent and unable to set up a motorcycle?

And now here's another interesting fact: Marc Marquez race time at Laguna Seca this past weekend was considerably slower than the race time Casey Stoner last achieved there on a - wait for it -
D U C A T I - in 2010. And in 2010, that race time was only good enough for second place.

So, Maximilian, I take it you consider Laguna Seca an easy circuit to ride with not much to tax the handling of a racing motorcycle? Bit of a drag strip in your view, yes?

Unlike Ducati, HRC valued Stoner very highly, and also valued his technical team. So Shuhei Nakamoto pulled a very smart move by agreeing to all Stoner's crew moving with him to HRC - because it denied Ducati ALL the ingredients of those 23 MotoGP wins, and also left Rossi exposed as not the greatest set-up genius of all time after all.

Perhaps Nakamoto-san has a wicked sense of humour.

After all, when it was suggested Rossi would join Honda after just a year at Ducati, Nakamoto referred journalists back to Rossi's comment that it was the rider who was more important than the bike, and indicated that at Ducati, Rossi had a chance to prove that...

So Honda has just strengthened its hand for 2014 and Lin Jarvis at Yamaha must be a very worried man.

Wonder if he ever wonders how things might have been if he had signed Stoner in 2007 ?

HRC: Who's there?

Stoner: Casey.

HRC: Well, unless you are willing to come in behind both MM and Pedrosa, we
are busy.

Stoner: Never mind.

Seriously. What is Honda to do? Heads up MM seems a bit faster than Pedrosa on the day. Sometimes Dani's experiance sees him through.Having Stoner fighting with their best hope is not in their best intrest for a title.

I cannot see Stoner being the type of guy that would race select one off races. The fact that he is testing tells me he has an interest in possibly returning. Yes, he makes the perfect tester for a bike that will be ridden by MM, but my guess is that Nakamoto has it in the back of his mind that Pedrosa is damaged goods and that his chance to be world champion in the big boy class has passed him by. I think he hopes that by having Stoner take this oppertunity to test for him, he may have a chance to convince him to rejoin the team. The Marquez-Stoner combo would be tough to compete with.

Guys, guys, calm down, he's only testing. Lets keep some perspective here. You honestly think that HRC are going to risk 20 something possible points in the riders title chase for a wildcard?

You honestly think Casey Stoner would pay any attention to HRC bosses telling him to move over at PI and let either Pedrosa or Marquez win? No, me either. It's a test, nothing more.

Could you make the rules of posting clear David? I say this in the context of my comments especially regarding Casey Stoner getting deleted almost every time I post them. I was wondering why Casey Stoner is celebrated for calling a spade a spade and why my comments get deleted when I call Casey Stoner, Casey Stoner. I do not think there was any flaming in my comments and so I am mystified. But the explanation that this your website and you have the right to keep what you want and remove what you don't want is ultimately your call. But I must say I am surprised.

Dude he does the same thing to me. I don't like CS, but I'm never profane, nor inflammatory. DE just doesn't wanna hear anything negative about his fave boy, plain and simple.

The rules of posting are simple. I delete anything I suspect will deteriorate into a stupid mud-slinging argument. Long experience tells me that what seems like an innocuous comment to the person posting it will end up in a shitstorm, which I have no intention of having to deal with. Casey Stoner seems to attract a lot of those comments, but so does Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa sometimes, Jorge Lorenzo sometimes, Cal Crutchlow sometimes. I have had people flounce off after accusing me of being both a Stoner and a Rossi fanboi. I have been compared with Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and any number of other dictators. I think I only have Chairman Mao to go and I'll have the full set.

My moderating policy is delete early, and delete often. It is arbitrary, ruthless, capricious, and unpredictable. I delete probably about 10% of the comments from the site, not necessarily because of the comment itself, often enough because of the replies it will create.

The moderation policy on here is not fair, it is not open, it is not transparent. But it works relatively well, and so it's staying.

I'd love to see him on the new Suzuki too. RdP's a good rider, but it'd be interesting to see how the Suzuki goes under a top level rider. Ok, it's a fantasy, but imagine if he could test both Suzuki and Honda...

Better yet, get him to do a Sir Al Cathcart test ride of all the factory bikes plus the top few CRTs. Yeah, I know - dreaming. So? It'd be valuable feedback for the factories, at the risk of some embarrassment for both teams and riders. If bike A is a slow pig but the rider is turning the same times as Casey it looks bad for the team but great for the rider. If the bike is great and Casey is a couple of seconds quicker than the rider then the team looks good, and would be looking for a new rider...