Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner is looking increasingly unlikely to continue as test and development rider for Honda in 2014.
HRC had intended to keep the Australian developing its factory RC213V throughout 2014 after he made numerous testing appearances in Japan at the end of last season.
Stoner, who retired from MotoGP at the end of 2012, is taking a complete sabbatical from all forms of motorsport this year after he raced as part of the Australian V8 Supercar scene last year.
And his desire to take a year off is unlikely to see him accept a testing offer from HRC again this year.
HRC boss Livio Suppo, who was influential in signing Stoner for Ducati in 2007 and Honda in 2011, told MCN: “We are still speaking but it is not sure if we will go ahead. My feeling is that Casey really wants to take a sabbatical year where he won’t have any commitments. I totally respect this and my feeling is if we do something it will be less than last year.”
HRC Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto also fears Stoner will no longer want to be part of developing the RC213V again for Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Nakamoto added: “He said he wants to do nothing this year. Casey is Casey, so you never know.”