With Ducati looking to renew their links with Casey Stoner and hire the Australian as a test rider with the provision of wild card outings, the MotoGP paddock has been filled with exceitment at the prospect of Stoner returning to the MotoGP grid to compete with Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez.
What was it that made Stoner such a special rider and a legend of the sport?His two world titles, 45 race wins and 89 podiums from 161 Grand Prix starts give an indication, but it was his appetite for racing that made him a star.
MCN looks back at five of the most important races of Stoner's career.
Qatar 2007 - Stoner's first MotoGP win
With Ducati having shocked the paddock by signing Stoner for 2007, the Australian instantly became the teams lead rider by dominating in Qatar from pole position. The win was Stoner's first of 38 premier class wins and was the foundations of his first tile success.
Phillip Island 2007 - Start of things to come
Winning at home became almost automatic for Stoner. Having wrapped up his first title the previous weekend in Japan this win marked the first of six consecutive wins on home soil. It was as dominant as what we'd come to expect from Stoner in Australia
Laguna Seca 2008 - A titanic scrap with Rossi
This race will always be remembered for Valentino Rossi's daring overtaking at the Corkscrew after he ran through the gravel trap and somehow managed to stay on board his Yamaha. A race often cited as the greatest in the four-stroke era with Stoner and Rossi constantly attacking one another. Stoner had the faster bike and Rossi needed to use every trick in his arsenal to beat him. This was a day when we saw the very best of both riders. Running off the track mid-race was Stoner's only mistake but this was one of the greatest fights in Grand Prix history.
Jerez 2011 - Where "ambition outweighed your talent"
In Stoner's final title season he was in stunning form all year but a crash with Rossi cost him the chance of a clean sweep of podium finishes. Afterwards Stoner issued his now famous comment that Rossi's "ambition had outweighted his talent."
Jerez 2012 - Finally winning at Jerez
Stoner views Jerez 2012 as one of his greatest wins. Finally taking a win at the Spanish circuit meant a lot but beating Lorenzo in a race long scrap meant more.