Casey Stoner to remain in HRC testing role

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Honda will continue to call on the blistering speed and technical feedback of double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner for development of its factory RC213V in 2014.

The Australian retired at the end of 2012 but he made numerous testing appearances in the latter stages of this year’s campaign at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan.

Stoner, who won titles for Ducati in 2007 and Repsol Honda in 2011, was drafted in by HRC to test and evaluate the 2014 factory prototype machine. And he also gave some impressions of the new Honda RCV1000R production racer, which Scott Redding and Nicky Hayden will ride next season.

HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN that Stoner will continue to be involved with Honda in 2014 but as yet ‘we have not decided on a plan.’

Stoner though is unlikely to represent HRC at a special tyre test at the Phillip Island track in Australia in early March.

Bridgestone has organised a three-day test between March 3 and 5 to ensure there is no repeat of the tyre fiasco that dominated last October’s Australian Grand Prix.

A new track surface saw tyres suffering severe endurance issues and the problem became so big that for the first time in history, a dry race included a mandatory pit stop on safety grounds.

The private tyre test in early March is only for official factory teams but Nakamoto said Stoner would not be required to attend.

Stoner was undefeated on home soil between 2007 and 2012 but Nakamoto said: “Casey won’t be at the Phillip Island test. Our two factory riders will go to Phillip Island. Bridgestone will make tyres but not so many, so if we brought three riders Bridgestone would struggle to supply tyres.

“Bridgestone are still unsure which type of tyre they should make for Phillip Island and this is the purpose of the test and they will bring several different constructions and compounds.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt