Honda has said it has no plans to draft in Casey Stoner to test at next week’s Bridgestone tyre test in Phillip Island, with Marc Marquez likely to be ruled out with a broken leg.
Reigning world champion Marquez broke his right leg in training accident last week and is not riding at the second Sepang test in Malaysia, which started today (Wednesday).
The Spaniard is a major doubt to return for the three-day Phillip Island test, which is exclusively a tyre test for Bridgestone after the major issues on a new track surface that dominated last October’s Australian Grand Prix.
If Marquez is ruled out then HRC won’t try and tempt double MotoGP world champion Stoner to test his factory RC213V.
Stoner, who won the 2011 title for HRC, tested for the Japanese factory in the second half of last season, having retired at the end of 2012 aged just 27.
But HRC boss Livio Suppo told MCN on the first day of MotoGP testing in Sepang: “Marc feels good and he is in a good mood, but honestly I think it is difficult to bring him to Phillip Island. It is a very long trip and not an easy circuit. Marc wants to be in Phillip Island but if you look at the situation, he likes the new bike and after the winter break he was immediately very fast and now there is no meaning to take a big risk for a test. We are not in a situation where we have a thousand things to test and we are trying to find something. I can’t see why we should take a big risk. I can understand from his point of view that it is difficult to start the season with only one three-day test under his belt when the others will have done nine days. But there has been no discussion about Casey riding and we didn’t even think or consider it. If Marc is not fit then we will go with only Dani (Pedrosa) to Phillip Island.”