Casey Stoner’s blistering speed from the moment he made his factory Honda debut at the end of 2010 injected fresh drive and motivation inside the Japanese factory, according to HRC boss Livio Suppo.
The Australian captured Honda’s first MotoGP world title since 2006 this year with 10 wins in a dominant campaign that saw him miss the podium just once in 17 rounds.
And Suppo, who was influential in signing Stoner for Ducati ahead of the 2007 season, believes the 26-year-old proved beyond any doubt what a phenomenal talent he is.
While Stoner was romping to success at Honda, Valentino Rossi endured a nightmare debut campaign with Ducati and failed to win at least one race in a season for the first time in his 16-year career.
Stoner also frequently outpaced Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, even though the pair had vastly greater experience on the RC212V machine.
Suppo told MCN: “From the very first time he joined HRC and he was very fast I think this gave the engineers a lot of motivation and also a big drive inside the company. I think most of the paddock recognised in 2008, ‘09 and ‘10 that Casey was fast not only because of Bridgestone tyres and a Ducati engine.
"Now with these results this year and Valentino’s results at Ducati, it is even clearer about the level of Casey and I think it is impossible not to recognise how fast he is. Both Jorge (Lorenzo) and Dani have long experience of their machine and for Casey and his team everything was new.
"Maybe he has lost some points because of that. But the only zero he had wasn’t his fault in Jerez so he did a great job. He did a super job, not making one mistake, which is unbelievable.”