Casey Stoner To Continue Role As Test Rider For Honda

Casey Stoner is to continue as test rider for Honda in 2014. The Australian double world champion will once again take the track to help develop Honda's RC213V during the 2014 season, according to British publication MCN.

Stoner took up his role as test rider in the middle of 2013, after HRC's regular test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi broke his femur at a Japanese Superbike round. The Australian worked on the 2013 RC213V, as well as a rain-shortened test on Honda's RCV1000R production racer.

According to the report on MCN, Stoner's testing schedule for 2014 has yet to be fixed. It appears that Stoner will not be present at the special tire test put on by Bridgestone at Phillip Island, which all three factory teams will attend, but he will take on further testing duties at Motegi later in the season. If Stoner does miss the Phillip Island test, it would deprive fans of a chance to directly compare his lap times with those of current Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner's continuing role as a test rider will once again fuel speculation he could make a return to racing again full time at some point. Various extremely well-informed sources in Spain insist that Honda are preparing for a possible return by the Australian at an indeterminate point in the future. However, sources close to Stoner himself insist that the Australian has no intention whatsoever of coming back to race in MotoGP, and is still happy with his decision to quit. In an interview with the BBC in October, Stoner said he was more and more convinced he'd made the right decision. Each year that passes makes it more difficult for Stoner to return. The keen edge developed by actually racing a MotoGP bike is quickly lost when not racing. Furthermore, Stoner will be 29 at the start of the 2015 season, and would be facing a 22-year-old Marquez with two years of experience under his belt. That will not stop the speculation that he could return, but given his continued denials, the odds of a return seem impossibly remote.

Casey Stoner is to continue as test rider for Honda in 2014. The Australian double world champion will once again take the track to help develop Honda's RC213V during the 2014 season, according to British publication MCN.Stoner took up his role as test rider in the middle of 2013, after HRC's regular test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi broke his femur at a Japanese Superbike round. The Australian worked on the 2013 RC213V, as well as a rain-shortened test on Honda's RCV1000R production racer.According to the report on MCN, Stoner's testing schedule for 2014 has yet to be fixed. It appears that Stoner will not be present at the special tire test put on by Bridgestone at Phillip Island, which all three factory teams will attend, but he will take on further testing duties at Motegi later in the season. If Stoner does miss the Phillip Island test, it would deprive fans of a chance to directly compare his lap times with those of current Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Comments

Not surprised

that Stoner will not be at the test at Phillip Island. He said he is done competing and he means it. Showing up at a test with everyone would be a little too close to showing up on a race weekend. He still enjoys riding, but the competition and things that go with it are why he said he retired. It would be nice to see a straight up comparison. But I think Stoner is really burned out on racing Motogp for life.

Total votes: 28

New school

How ever fast Stoner would be I doubt he would enjoy the new school of riding/riders. I think he fully enjoys putting in fast laps on an empty track and has no immediate reason to return.

Total votes: 26

could you imagine

his reaction to sharing the track with MM93? Not that I think MM is out of line or as reckless as people say he is, but Stoner was so vocal about contact.... There's no way Stoner would want to get back to racing with the prospect of smashing fairings every weekend with the likes of him.

And good for Stoner. I was never a fan of his as a competitor, but I have tremendous respect for his riding ability. He seems to have the perfect situation now. Get a top shelf bike to develop, have full support team to go riding as fast as he can on a closed track - no PR or marketing responsibilities. Beautiful.

Happy Holidays to my MotoMatters brethren too!

m

Total votes: 30

Contact

I personally think he's a little hypocritical about contact, like Lorenzo can be as well. Stoner is certainly not afraid to dish it out, see for example his fight with Rossi at Laguna or more recent his move on Bautista at Mugello last year.

Total votes: 27

2 examples

You could only find two examples in 7 years of racing MotoGP yet think he is hypocritical. Laguna he was more than slightly provoked and Bautista he was frustrated after running off the track and made a mistake.

Agree re Lorenzo - in the last race he hit Dani 3 times and they were verging on the deliberate.

Total votes: 34

Go back and look at the race

At Laguna, Rossi ran off the track. Under those circumstances the rider is supposed to cede position to the competitor who managed to stay on the circuit. You need to take of the blinders and watch what actually happened sport. The contact was created by Valentino.

1 error in 7 years by my reckoning, and you want to serve it up to the bloke. FFS, your own post offered 2 examples, 1 of which was factually incorrect.
Congratulations, that makes your error rate 50%.
What an effing genius.

Total votes: 33

Wow

I don't think my post warranted such an aggressive response. First of all, I agree Rossi was responsible for contact at Laguna. There were hard moves throughout that race. Second, I've been a fan of Stoner from the 250 days. I do not want to 'serve up' anything. All I'm saying is that the assumption of him not being able to compete with Marquez physically would be untrue. Because, like I said, Stoner wasn't afraid to be physical when the situation called for it.

Total votes: 24

Everything changes

Everything changes...What Stoner says now isn't as compelling to me as time spent out of the racing saddle. However test rider is very close to a fill in for an injured HRC rider, not out of the realm of possibility and more likely than a wildcard ride. "What the heck, I can fill in for Marquez for a round or two real quick." NOT impossible.

Total votes: 27

Dorna

Personally I think DORNA will do everything in their power to avoid a situation where direct comparison of stoners lap times to current motogp riders can occur.

Total votes: 35

Good point

Dorna didn't take kindly to Stoner shitcanning their running of GP with CRT and politics. It was interesting to note that a few free MotoGP.com videos of Stoner disappeared from YouTube once Casey retired, including his epic win and battle with Rossi at Catalunya. As soon as Stoner wasn't financially benefiting Dorna they've done their best to pretend he doesn't exist, even the commentators seem shy about mentioning him.

Total votes: 40

I may have to get a Stoner

I may have to get a Stoner t-shirt just to wear the next time I go to a Gp.

Total votes: 24

Flack

I may get some flack for this, but Stoner is not an optimal test rider. Sure he can ride the tires off a bike, but no one else can ride the way he does, which is why he could ride the Ducati, but not develop it.

Total votes: 40

Ducati development

Stoner could ride the wheels off anything, but I think he couldn't develop the Ducati because Ducati would not listen to him, Rossi or anybody else as far as developing that pig went. Here's hoping that will change and we will have more than 4 bikes capable of winning a MotoGP race in the not-so-distant future.

Total votes: 32

Pretty sure Stoner played a

Pretty sure Stoner played a significant role in the development of the latest iteration of the Rc213v....The same bike that just finished 1st and 3rd in the championship.

Total votes: 31

One measure would

be how far back from the front was the Ducati under Stoner's "development" versus any one elses input. I suspect you would see that the average Ducati (any rider other than Stoner) has gone further and further back since Stoner left Ducati. So by that argument all other Ducati riders after Casey have even poorer developmental skills than him.

The reality is that Ducati were and still are a mess, even the most proven combination in MotoGP (JB and VR) totally and utterly failed to make progress.

Total votes: 33

I think there's still a strong chance Stoner will come back

He says he feels like he absolutely made the right decision to stop, but he's also said he's going to reassess things in 2015. And he also said point blank he wasn't considering retirement right before he retired, to try and put an end to all the speculation. He's conceivably in the same position now, if he wants to be left alone he has to say he has no interest in coming back or he'll be a walking headline again. I don't think it's too far fetched to imagine at some point Stoner could feel mentally refreshed and decide he's got some GP racing left in him.

Total votes: 20

only testing

Stoner will never ride a bike again. and i don't know if Stoner wants or can fight and bash fairing or make hard moves like MM did and Jorge too after several dangerous situations. jorge was the only 1 who changed. Dani didn't or couldn't do it, not even when he had the change and he had several. So i think he stays home(im no fan of him) but thats a shame because we need more very fast and talented riders able to fight for the title. Personaly i would want to see Stoner ride the M1 for a year. give it a try Stoner

Total votes: 15

oops

"I may get some flack for this, but Stoner is not an optimal test rider. Sure he can ride the tires off a bike, but no one else can ride the way he does, which is why he could ride the Ducati, but not develop it."

Have you been watching any MotoGP this year ? A certain Marc Marquez rides a very similar dirt track style, letting the bike squirm underneath him, riding on and over the limit everywhere. Marc used Casey's data and settings to great advantage this year. The only difference is, MM93 takes it even a step further than Casey did and is even more aggressive, even more off the bike around corners. Only when MM93 crashes, he seems to be made of stone - so far.

To say Stoner is not optimal test rider, I guess you know better than HRC ! Stoner is known as a bike developer, Ducati wouldn't make the changes he wanted, Ducati is notorious for that, and it is well documented in the press, do your research.

To say Stoner couldn't compete with today's riders is laughable. He's only 1 year out of the sport and he's still riding fast. I wouldn't go so far as to say the future of riding is fairing banging, riding-as-contact-sport either. (though it is good for the fans!) If a refreshed in mind and body Stoner did come back in 2015 on an RCV (after HRC predictably drops Pedrosa) I think Stoner would be on the podium regularly, and fighting for wins. Could he win another World championship ? Given HRC's future is Marc Marquez, Stoner would find himself in a similar situation that Rossi has found himself in the Yamaha garage.

Maybe something better, and more realistic to hope for would be Pol Espargaro as team mate to Marc in a couple years.... their battles in Moto2 were fantastic and there is no love lost. I'm sure Repsol wouldn't mind continuing the Spanish theme, either.

Total votes: 18

Interesting to compare Marc's and Casey's styles

Although they both ride it loose they are spectacular in slightly different ways. Marc's sliding doesn't exhibit the same sort of control Stoner had IMO, but his corner entry is definately more aggressive. Marc's elbow drag as apposed to elbow down is great to watch as well, but there's something about Stoners style that I could watch all day.

Total votes: 25

Out of action

Stoner's interviews with the Australian Motorcycling Media was a little more in-depth.
He stated the main reason for quitting was the 'dumbing down' of the bikes with low rev 'soft' engines and 'mushy' front tyres that heated up fast but limited how hard you could ride (the fast guys only started complaining about this halfway through this year).

What would bring him back is a more sharp edged bike ...he stated himself "If they bring back
the 500's I'd be back in a flash"

As far as YouTube videos go, see if you can find anyone sliding the 800's that ISN'T Stoner..

Total votes: 15

Hayden...

... Just look at him and his slides were just as impressive. Guess the dirt background for the both explains a lot.

Anyway, why does someone sliding a bike make them any better, surely it's just different styles for different people... Jorge is mighty successful by being almost the complete opposite.

Total votes: 16

YouTube

Have you looked lately. Dorna have pulled a lot of the MotoGP.com Stoner stuff, and must have taken down a lot of other stuff through copyright as well cos there's definately less than there used to be.

Total votes: 15

Ride and develop?

It appears the rider(s) who replaced Stoner could neither RIDE nor develop the Ducati. Open your eyes to reality. Stoner could Win on the ducati, turn fastest laps on the Ducati, get on the Front Row on the Ducati, put the Ducati on Pole and challenge for the championship on the Ducati..............and the rider(s) who replaced him could do none of the above.

Total votes: 23

As great as Stoner was/is, he

As great as Stoner was/is, he wouldn't be challenging for the championship on the current iteration of the Ducati. Pole/Front row starts/win perhaps. The spec tire killed any hopes and dreams of Ducati winning again.

@binx_19

"I may get some flack for this, but Stoner is not an optimal test rider. Sure he can ride the tires off a bike, but no one else can ride the way he does, which is why he could ride the Ducati, but not develop it."

No offense, but this is just ignorant.

The main problem with test riders is they CAN'T ride the bikes to the maximum like the contracted racers can. Being able to push a machine to the limits shows flaws that are inherent to the bike design. This is where having a rider that can match the pace of the front runners is so beneficial to HRC. HRC isn't using Stoner as a marketing tool, they are using him to ride the dog snot out of their machine. They clearly know something you don't.

Total votes: 24

Testrider(s)

I agree with you on the fact that most testriders are not fast enough to match the pace of the drivers who are competing, but I disagree with you that Stoner isn't a good testdriver. The simple fact that he could win on the Ducati is proof enough that he is a good developer, no one else did this so regular as he did. Once he got on the Honda he was fast from the first second he got on it and as the season progressed the speed was still ingreasing. I think that once Ducati tried to make a Yamaha or Honda of the Ducati things went from bad to worse.
Why?? I can't tell you this but perhaps there is a good explanation other then the tyres.

Total votes: 12

Ducati couldn't develop a

Ducati couldn't develop a cold judging from history. It was widely reported that the bike they started the season with was the bike they finished with. Yamaha, Honda not so much.

People blame Ducati for failing Rossi and Burgess however, the dream team received more updates and changes in two years than Stoner during his entire four year tenure. Either Ducati listened to the input from Rossi/Burgess and ignored it (doubtful) or the changes requested were wrong/not good enough to compete with HRC & YRC. I'm not trying to lay blame on Rossi/Burgess or Ducati but something just doesn't add up for me. In the past people blamed Stoner for Ducati going backwards after 2007. With the dream team coming on board IMO it put to rest that the fault was not Stoners.

As far as Stoners development prowess is concerned, it appears (I would have to research the stats) that Dani improved his riding once Stoner came on board, and we all know how well Marquez did aboard Stoners old bike and data. Could Marquez have won the title on an M1? Not sure as my crystal ball is broken but a part of me doesn't believe so.

Total votes: 16

re; Test riders

There was a point where Wayne Rainey wrote that he couldn't Yamaha to improve the bike to his liking. Their argument was, well you keep winning with it. It can't be that bad.

I feel that was Ducati's attitude. As long as they were winning or up front with Stoner they were confident their bike was good and other riders were the problem.

Total votes: 15

You are correct, Stoner has

You are correct, Stoner has said openly that this was Ducati's attitude. Their view was that when he was winning, it was because of the bike; when he was crashing, it was human error. Ducati can't be totally blamed for this, this was the view of most of the paddock when Stoner was riding for Ducati. It has since been shown to be the other way around, of course.

I think people are misinterpreting Stoner's willingness to bash fairings against his love of competition. Stoner loved the competition, he just didn't like the politics. He is still racing, after all, just in a different category. His stance against bashing fairings was because it was dangerous and to a large extent, unnecessary. The top riders can pass without needing to resort to it. Sure it's exciting for the fans, but there's no need to endanger riders like that.

Marquez will get better with experience, it's not a question of style, it's a question of ability. Marc is the fastest rider in the world right now, no doubt, but he's still not experienced at nailing that pass to perfection against the big boys on the big bikes. I guarantee he would freely admit that himself. Dani and Jorge don't race like that because they don't have to, they can make the pass cleanly, because they have more experience doing it. The difference in the last race was Jorge got desperate trying to slow the field to force an error on Marc, that's an unusual situation.

Total votes: 12

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