Casey Stoner to ride in Estoril

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Casey Stoner will be back in action at this weekend’s Estoril MotoGP clash in Portugal, MCN can reveal.

Ducati boss Livio Suppo has confirmed that the 23-year-old will end his self-imposed exile having missed the last three races to try and recover from a mystery ailment that dogged the Aussie during the midway stage of the 2009 campaign.

The 2007 world champion has been undergoing a series of extensive medical tests since he last raced during a disastrous British GP at the end of June.

Little has been revealed during Stoner’s lay-off about his recovery or specifically what caused his debilitating physical condition that started in the Catalunya race.

But the former LCR Honda rider, who has won two races in 2009, arrived in Europe this morning (Monday) and will contest this Sunday’s 28-lap race, according to factory team boss Suppo.

Suppo has faced a barrage of questions about Stoner’s future in recent weeks and he’s had to fend off wild rumours that Stoner would not be returning to action at all.

There have also been rumours of a rift between Stoner and Suppo, all of which have been categorically denied.

Ducati always insisted that Stoner would be back in action in Estoril this weekend ahead of his home race in Phillip Island in October 18.

And Suppo told MCN: “Casey arrived in Europe this morning at Switzerland and we have exchanged some text messages and he is okay. Of course we need to see how he will be in the race and as far as that point goes we don’t really know.

“For sure his physical condition will not be at the top so we need to keep these races as kind of training for next year and help Casey work on the bike for next year. We certainly don’t need to put any big pressure or expectation on Casey.

“It is not about him coming back and winning the next four races. I don’t care about that. We just need to get him back on the bike and make sure he is comfortable.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt