Casey Stoner impressed with new Honda production bike

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Casey Stoner has given HRC positive feedback on the new production RCV1000R racer that Scott Redding will campaign in the 2014 MotoGP world championship.

The Aussie got his first chance to assess the new production bike during a third successive test in Japan that was severely disrupted by poor weather.

Since undertaking a surprise new role as HRC test rider, the double MotoGP world champion has only been able to ride for two out of six days because of rain.

The opening day of his third test yesterday (Wednesday) was also lost to rain but the 27-year-old did finally get chance to test the RCV1000R after completing the morning session on a prototype factory RC213V model.

The production bike can run 24 litres of fuel next season and will feature the controlled Magneti Marelli hardware and software.

It doesn’t feature pneumatic valves or a seamless shift gearbox like the factory prototype but Stoner was impressed by its potential when he got his first chance to ride the new bike today.

Moto2 world championship leader Redding will ride an RCV1000R for the Italian-based Gresini squad next season and Stoner, who retired from racing at the end of last season, said: “Unfortunately the weather played a big role in this test which was a little frustrating not to be able to share the workload over the two days. We tried to do everything today but it was a little difficult, and we also had the threat of rain again.

"We started with the current RCV, trying to find a base setting and then work from there. We had two variations of chassis' to try and some big modifications and improvements in my opinion.

"We also tried the production bike, which was more impressive than I predicted. It had a similar feeling to the RCV but with a little less power and a different feeling in engine braking. With some small modifications I believe this bike will be competitive and I look forward to the next test with it. In general it was a good, but busy day.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt