Casey Stoner tests 2014 factory Honda but no wild card plans
07 August 2013 10:03
Casey Stoner was able to give HRC technical staff vital information on development of its 2014 factory RC213V MotoGP prototype at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan today.
But the Aussie ruled out any plans to race as a wild card later this season after it was rumoured he would make a sensational return to racing in his home race at Phillip Island in October.
After heavy rain restricted the double world champion to just six laps on the opening day, the 27-year-old completed 47 laps in improved conditions today at the venue for October’s Japanese MotoGP clash.
Stoner, who is completing four test sessions for HRC as part of a surprise return to two-wheeled action just nine months after he retired tested the current RC213V before giving Honda his impressions of next year’s bike that Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa briefly rode during a rain-hit test at the Motorland Aragon track in June.
Stoner, who denied rumours that his testing return will lead to wild card appearances in Phillip Island and the Twin Ring Motegi later in the season, said: “Thankfully today the weather improved a lot, in fact it was pretty hot, and we were able to get some good track time and work on our test programme.
We had a productive day in general and thankfully the test plan wasn't too hectic, so we were able to get most of it done today, after yesterday's washout. It was great to see the team, even if there were only a few people here, and I thank Honda for all their support as ever.
It felt really good to get back on the bike after nine months and I'm happy with how the test went, but it doesn't change my mind about the wild cards - this is not something I am planning to do"
Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed that at future tests, Stoner’s input would be used to develop its new production racer in future test appearances.
Nakamoto said: “Over the course of Casey's two-day test, we’ve been able to gather a vast amount of data and ideas for development. Consequently, we aim to increase our pace of development and hope that this, in turn, will lead to us winning this year's Championship.
We focused exclusively on the RC213V, but in future tests, we’ll get Casey to test-ride the tentatively named MotoGP Production Racer and assist in raising its level of performance even further"