HRC Press Release: Weather Limits Track Time For Stoner On His Return

Below is the official press release from the Repsol Honda Team after the first rain-limited day of testing for Casey Stoner. The weather forecast for Motegi on Wednesday is better, meaning that Stoner should be able to do more laps than on Tuesday. Official photos from the test can be found here:

Weather impedes Stoner's return on MotoGP machine

Double World Champion, Casey Stoner, climbed aboard a MotoGP machine for the first time today since retiring from the sport in November 2012. However, Bad weather affected his return and the Honda development test at the Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan.

The original plan was for Casey to re-familiarise himself with the RC213V - 2013 machine, in the morning and then test the new 2014 prototype in the afternoon and a few other test items. Unfortunately, after just 6 laps the rain arrived and halted testing for the day.

Casey Stoner

"It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps! We only managed to get one run in before the rain arrived which was a little disappointing. It was really nice to get that first run, it's been 9 months since I've been on a bike and it's going to take me some time to get used to everything again! The bike and the track felt good and I hope that we can get some better testing in tomorrow with some dry track time and run some more laps"


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Albeit the official Repsol PR people. I had visions of him being ushered quietly in through a back door of the garage with a coat over his head, and the garage door only opening to let him out, and snapping firmly shut the moment he pulled in.

Now I've been glib, I'll just say it's good to see him back on a bike. But this is still NOT the "second coming" people got their knickers in a twist about a couple of weeks ago.

I'm most interested to see what this proddy racer does lap time wise with Stoner on it.

"I'm most interested to see what this proddy racer does lap time wise with Stoner on it."

If he gets it down to circuit record pace we can expect it to be competing with the factory Ducatis for fifth or sixth place next year :)

I wonder how Pedrosa feels about all this. It must occur to him that if Stoner said he'd like to come back after all, it'd be his seat that Stoner would take and for all his loyalty and dogged persistence, I think Honda would drop him for CS without missing a single heartbeat.

... until Stoner announced he would quit. HRC was going to replace Pedrosa with Marquez.
But unfortunately we'll never see Stoner fight with Marquez.

I think a good few former racers think otherwise. My own experience in life is that a bit of time and space tends to put things in perspective, and things are often more enjoyable second time round. Above all though I think Stoner will miss winning, if he isn't already. From a recent article in the aussie media he doesn't sound like he's getting much out of V4's (in terms of personal satisfaction) and if his lap times this week give him cause to think he'd be right up there again in motogp within a few weeks of practicing again, I won't be at all surprised if we hear later this year that he's coming back. I can't remember what contract Pedrosa is on, i.e. 13 + 14 or just this year, but if he doesn't win the championship big time in the second half of the season he'll be on borrowed time.

Gloves look previously, and properly broken in, but those leathers look hot off the stitching machine!

I hope lap times are actually released, I'm interested to see how much (if any has actually accumulated) rust has settled in.

In image #2 of the released photos, either: a) they had very soft front springs in, or b) Stoner was going proper fast, the front end was just about on the stops! It certainly appears as if he wasn't just toddling around trying to remember what all the lights and knobs and buttons do..

Would be very nice to see Stoner do a few demo laps at P.I. this year on the proddie racer, at least.

doing a few laps on the new customer honda sounds a lot more probable than him returning for racing or wildcards.
It would be a very smart move by Honda using PI to launch the new bike.

i can see this happening- fingers crossed. Ill be at Bass straight.

Casey running the Proddy Racer at the track record means nothing as HE is ridding the thing! Tells you as much about the bike as he winning a WC on the Ducati! But it would be 'special' to see him and #93 fighting it out!

First, I believe that we will never see Casey racing in MotoGP again.

However, I do find it interesting that he is wearing the new Repsol colors (white) with all the current sponsers and the bike has a big Repsol on the side. Seems a bit unusual for something that is supposed to be a private HRC test. The pit box and all of the pit crew are in HRC colors.

Maybe he meant that he hasn't ridden a MotoGP bike since Valencia...but I was at Eastern Creek in March at the Top Gear festival and he was on a CBR1000RR and he was having a ball with that! I believe the other guys on the track said that there was smoke coming of the rear tyre at the exit to most corners, not to mention the stonking wheelie he did in between Mark Webber in his F1 and Jamie Whincup, who was ironically in Casey Stoner's V8 supercar!

I don't think there's even the remotest chance of seeing Casey Stoner back in MotoGP next year, or 2015. Happy to be proven wrong tho!