Casey Stoner was arguably the fastest man in MotoGP when he announced his impending retirement last summer; he was offered a lot of money to stay, but he said no. Now, he’s back at the track, on two wheels again.
Stoner left MotoGP to race V8 cars back home in Australia; he’d made plenty of money during his racing career, and won a lot of races, but plenty of fans didn’t like him, and it seemed he was getting leery of the danger.
But it’s hard for a motorcycle racer to just walk away from the sport, and Honda is exploiting this – they’ve got Stoner back at work again, testing their 2014 MotoGP prototypes. He’s riding both the RC213V factory bike, and Honda’s production race bike that they’re planning to rent out in 2014.
He’s riding the machines at the Motegi track in Japan, but don’t expect the experience to make him jump misty-eyed back into the sport. Says Stoner: “‘Im still happy and comfortable with the decision I made to stop motorcycle racing, even if sometimes I miss riding my RCV.” He’s scheduled to do four tests, and that’s it.
Still, there are some fans who’d love to see him return to MotoGP racing, and no doubt they’re hoping this experience will be enough to tempt him back, maybe to mount a challenge to Marc Marquez’s recent domination.
[…] de leur moto de course de série RCV1000. Dans un deuxième temps, ils ont demandé à Casey Stoner de faire des essais sur la nouvelle moto. C’est maintenant à Scott Redding de signer un contrat de MotoGP avec […]
[…] Honda announced their RCV1000 “production racer;” then, they got Casey Stoner to test it. Now, they’ve signed a rider to pilot the machine in […]
“Still, there are some fans who’d love to see him return to MotoGP racing, and no doubt they’re hoping this experience will be enough to tempt him back,”
I suspect that Shuhei Nakamoto has similar feelings. Why else would he be getting Stoner on the bike? Honda already has top-drawer test riders, including long-time Honda 250 & 500cc rider Tadayuki Okada. It stands to reason that Nakamoto-san is hoping that dangling the RC213V carrot will be tempting. After all, Stoner has been noted as being dissatisfied with the ‘numb’ aspect of the V8 Supercars. He’s not enjoying the series as much as he’d hoped.
I would love to see Stoner and Marquez nose-to-tail drifting through T3 at Phillip Island.
This test was arranged before CS’s retirement (last race).
Even if that is the case — and I have no reason to dispute it — it doesn’t change my opinion of HRC having huge impetus to try to convince Stoner to come back to the fold. By whatever carrot-dangling means it can conjure.
I like Dani Pedrosa. I’ve been watching him race since he was a wee squirt on 125s in 2001. Unfortunately, his career in MotoGP is likely to leave him “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. He’s a step below Stoner in the pecking order and with competition such as Lorenzo and now Marquez, he’s unlikely to finally nail that premier-class championship title. Lorenzo is proving himself to be superman (Dani, too, though, given his complete collarbone fracture as discovered in his last medical). Marquez doesn’t seem to want to take that typical year to get up to speed. He’d rather win the champion ship NOW, thanks.
No, I see HRC as playing a long-shot game with Stoner. Nakamoto LOVES Casey. HRC would love nothing more than to see Stoner willing to come back and potentially fill Pedrosa’s garage. As strong as Stoner and Pedrosa were (not forgetting Dovi for a nanosecond!), Stoner and Marquez are 100% Gold.
A healthy Stoner and Marquez on RC21xV rides would be nigh on unstoppable in creating constructor and rider champions year after year.
Eep. Sorry for the novel. 🙂
For some reason, Casey Moaner annoyed me.
But, I’d love to see him back. Cat amongst the
pigeons and all that.