Casey Stoner agrees new HRC testing deal

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Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will make two testing appearances for HRC in 2015.

HRC confirmed today that the Australian’s first test on the factory RC213V this year will come at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia between January 29 and 31.

That test comes days ahead of the entire current MotoGP field resuming pre-season testing at the Malaysian venue on February 4.

A second date later in the year has yet to be confirmed.

Stoner, who won the premier class title for Ducati in 2007 and Honda in 2011, said: “After having a long break from riding, it was refreshing to get back on a bike a few months ago. Now after a relaxing Christmas and New Year I’m happy to announce that I’ve been speaking to Nakamoto-san and we have come to an agreement in continuing our relationship. I am currently preparing to ride in Sepang in a few weeks – which will be very different weather and humidity to Motegi – so I need to get myself fit!”

Stoner last tested for HRC in Japan at the end of November after he had done some testing work for Honda during 2013.

It was during that test that HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed to MCN that he had tried and failed to tempt Stoner to make a full-time return to racing after he quit MotoGP at the end of 2012.

Nakamoto said: “He immediately said no to racing again. I asked him to return full-time because there is no meaning to do wild cards. But it is not happening. Everybody has been expecting that Casey comes back but this is not going to happen and there is no meaning to discuss it further.”

On Stoner’s new testing deal, Nakamoto said: “We are very happy to be able to start 2015 by announcing the continuation of our relationship with Casey and keep him in the Honda family. The feedback he gives HRC is invaluable and we are fortunate to have a test rider capable to push the RC213V to its limits.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt