Casey Stoner returning to Ducati for 2016
Casey Stoner will leave his testing duties at HRC and return to the Bologna factory in a testing capacity in 2016.
The 30-year-old Australian rode for the Ducati factory bike between 2007-2010 claiming 23 wins on way to his first MotoGP World Championship in 2007. Stoner left Ducati at the end of 2010 before spending two years with the Repsol Honda team winning his second MotoGP World Championship before his shock retirement in 2012.
Stoner continued to work with HRC sporadically as a test rider and made a one-off appearance during this season’s Suzuka 8 Hour, a race he crashed out of due to a mechanical fault of the Honda Fireblade he was riding.
Rumours started last month that Stoner could be in-line to make a return to MotoGP with Ducati in 2017 as a full time rider, but today in Valencia, Ducati all-but confirmed that his return will come next year as a test rider, with a view to wildcard races.
Stoner grew disillusioned with the lack of perceived appreciation from Honda after being overlooked to stand in for Dani Pedrosa earlier in the season with the Spaniard forced to sit out the American and Argentine rounds recovering from arm-pump surgery. He is said to be upset with a lack of feedback and opinions given with Marquez questioning Stoner’s ability as a test rider.
Stoner has a contract with HRC until the 31st of December, meaning any official announcement or confirmation from Ducati will have to wait until 2016.
“Let’s say that Casey has been a hero for Ducati and won many GP races and a world title for us in 2007,” said Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti.
“He obviously moved to Honda and has been working for Honda but is still in the heart of Ducati fans and has a good relationship with many Ducati people, so let’s see what the future brings.
“We know that the contract with Honda is expiring at the end of this year and if there is a chance to do something together we would love to do it.”
2016 pre-season testing will see an official three day test at Phillip Island, a track that Casey Stoner won for six consecutive years.
12 thoughts on “Casey Stoner returning to Ducati for 2016”
Love to see the grumpy Aussie back wringing the neck of a properly developed Ducati..
He likes Marquez about as much as Rossi..
Imagine if Rossi and Marquez were battling for the title next year and Casey rode a wilcard or two blocking for Rossi?
That would be a sight for sore eyes and funny as fk..
Cheers n gone..
Casey would love to torment MM.
Also having him “sort out” the Desmosidici for 2016 could only be a plus.
That would be brilliant to watch but I think that there would be no chance in hell of Stoner blocking for Rossi.
It will be interesting to see what lap times Stoner can pull from the Desmosedici.
He’s been out of racing for a while and I don’t believe he was keeping pace with Pedrosa or Marquez as far as lap times go.
Stoner was always my favorite (on track . . .), but I wonder how competitive he will be given how long he as been out of competition and how competitive the series currently is.
Can he still win at Phillip Island?
In another nine months or so, we may find out.
As much as I am a mad fan of Stoner and Ducati , I can’t believe Stoner could come in on a wild card and keep up with MM, Jorge or even Rossi and Pedrosa after that much time out. Just like with Bayliss, the level just keep raising each year to expect him to place.
Would love to see it, especially at Philip Island!
If Casey comes back as a wildcard rider to ducati and wins a race on it, it would be a hard slap on the face for Rossi who once said that Casey didn’t give his maximum when riding ducati, a bike Burgess and Rossi claimed to be able to fix in fifteen minutes.
I think he (rossi) mentioned more like casey could not ride the ducati to its maximum. That’s why rossi went to ducati to show him. Showed him where reverse was lmao
Rossi was on a completely different chassis,whole different bike to Stoner,you don’t get 9 world titles in motoGP’s riding in reverse.
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.Being a massive fan of the no nonsense casey stoner and of Ducatiti it would be a match made in heaven and would add another dimension to MotoGP 2016. Hope it happens…
He rides like no one else his setting mean nothing to other riders……he must intend to race…
hope he comes back another alien grrreeeeaaattt 11111