Pons team loses Stoner

Published: 09 December 2005

Casey Stoner will ride a Honda RCV in 2006 - but not for the Sito Pons squad as expected. Stoner’s former Aprilia 250 boss Lucio Cecchinello confirmed late last night that he had secured a deal with HRC to lease one RCV five-cylinder for next season. And a deal to see him run Stoner is likely to be agreed later this week, with negotiations on-going in Europe. With Pons unable to secure a sponsorship deal in time to keep the 20-year-old Aussie in his team where he would have partnered Carlos Checa, the Spaniard is now fighting for his MotoGP survival.

See more on the latest MotoGP team changes and test in MCN, out December 14, 2005.

Stoner had tested twice for the Pons team, but following Camel’s decision to try and find axed HRC rider Max Biaggi a ride, the Spaniard was left in a financial crisis as Camel refused to continue backing the Pons squad, Twice Pons missed deadlines to secure Stoner’s signature, and now he will sign for Cecchinello, who two months ago had failed to secure a deal for Stoner on a Yamaha YZR-M1. Pons is now hoping to secure enough budget to run Spaniard Checa in a one-man team, but it seems that three of Honda’s seven-strong RCV line-up in 2006 will be run as one man outfits.

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