Honda Confirms Speaking To Casey Stoner To Replace Pedrosa At Austin And Argentina

Casey Stoner was a candidate to replace the injured Dani Pedrosa. The Australian had discussions with HRC about stepping in to take Pedrosa's place during his absence. In the end, it was decided that a return would not be possible at such short notice. It was decided that Hiroshi Aoyama would be a better choice of replacement in the circumstances.

Asked via email by MotoMatters.com whether Honda had had discussions with Stoner over replacing Pedrosa, Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo confirmed that they had. "We spoke about the possibility for Casey to replace Dani," Suppo admitted. But Stoner would have faced major challenges replacing Pedrosa for the next two MotoGP rounds. The Australian has never raced at either Austin or Termas de Rio Hondo, the two tracks having been added to the MotoGP calendar after Stoner retired from MotoGP. He has also had only very limited testing, having spent three days on the factory Honda RC213V ahead of the first Sepang test, while the rest of the MotoGP grid has had eight days of full testing plus the first round of racing at Qatar.

Suppo cited the lack of preparation, and the undoubted weight of expectation from the fans as factors in the decision. "Overall, we believe that a comeback of Casey in MotoGP would be something to properly prepare, as the expectation would be huge," Suppo said. Fans would expect Stoner to be battling at the front straight away, ignoring the disadvantages he had from a lack of testing and racing. "We are sorry for the fans, who would have loved to see Casey back, but overall, we think this is the right choice," Suppo added.

The comparison with the return of Troy Bayliss is easily drawn. When the legendary Australian stepped in to replace the injured Davide Giugliano in the Ducati World Superbike team, fans were expecting him to immediately be on the podium and challenging for the win. The fact that Bayliss had been out of racing since 2009, and the Ducati Panigale R has not been a fully competitive package in recent years was conveniently ignored. Bayliss only once managed to finish inside the top ten, falling short of expectations, but still adored by the fans.

The news that Casey Stoner actively considered racing again in MotoGP can be seen at the very least as something of a surprise. Since retiring from full-time racing at the end of 2012, Stoner has made it very clear in interviews that he has no intention of making a return to the series. My own research, talking to friends of Stoner's, corroborated this. Nobody felt that Stoner had any desire whatsoever to race in MotoGP again. Both the politics and the excessive and increasing influence of electronics on the MotoGP bikes were factors which soured him to the sport. Testing seemed to fulfill his need for speed, and RC model car racing scratched his competitive itch.

Perhaps the news that Casey Stoner is to race at the Suzuka 8 Hour race in July, was a sign that the Australian is ready to make some small, limited return to motorcycle racing. At just 29 years of age, he is still young enough to start racing again, should he so desire. Given all that Stoner has said, the chances of the Australian making a full-time return to MotoGP seem extremely unlikely, if not impossible. But coming in as a substitute rider, or who knows, even a wildcard, now seems a very real possibility.

On a personal note, Stoner's return has clearly proven me wrong, and not for the first time. I have always believed that Stoner was done with MotoGP altogether. I remember the look of barely suppressed irritation whenever he had to speak to journalists like us, especially the ones who had written him off in the past, attributing his success on the Ducati to electronics, and casting aspersions at his absence due to lactose intolerance. I caught a glimpse of Stoner as he drove out of the paddock for the last time, on the Monday of the Valencia test in 2012, after he had said his goodbyes to his team. The look of relief was palpable. Perhaps, now that he has had time away from the paddock and from racing, the sport is a little easier for the Australian to bear.

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Comments

I was quite shocked when I read this news, I thought he was done. I saw a post-retirement interview with Stoner where he spoke about all the injuries he'd had, and how he wasn't prepared to risk him body again.

This explained a lot of his disdain for Rossi and his aggressive passes, and as a result I am quite surprised Stoner would even think of racing again; races are a lot closer than they were a few years ago, and now have Marquez being more aggressive than Rossi ever was - could you imagine what Stoner would say if Marquez pulled some of the moves like those he did at silverstone and Jerez on Lorenzo, on Stoner?

I for one want to see...

Next year, could possibly Honda have 3 factory RCV's?

And the implied wildcard could easily be at PI if he starts training now...

Can't wait for the 5-aliens line up :)

There is a "the one that got away" story in nearly everything. No reason MotoGP would be any different. It comes up in gaps of other good stuff in which there is room for conjecture, attempts to buoy doubt and disappointment and so on. We've been left. It happens.

I still like to go back and re watch races in which I can slow motion rewind him sliding the spinning rear around corners at speed. Beats thinking about the fiancé that didn't result in a marriage at least.

Let's make peace with it all together as a group. Maybe just place awareness on how fortunate we were to receive a MM93 just as CS27 departed. And gratitude that Casey, Ducati and Bridgestone all arrived in the same garage and made magic at all. It was brilliant!

Thanks Casey. Enjoyed it a ton mate! Enjoy yourself, and feel free to pop back in a surprise us any time. With a wee bit of prep I am quite sure you could still be carving turns with aliens. And I for one am okay if you don't. Everything is impermanent and changing. So much to take in and savor now that back then can stay that way.

;)

Suppo probably called Stoner at Red Bull's request. As cool as the Bayliss come back, this sounds like a Red Bull marketing ploy.

Considering he actually considered racing. I understand the reasoning for being conservative this time, but no doubt there will come a time in future where the circumstances could be better for a one off return. I sort of think Stoner should have gone for it. He's always been one of the quickest guys to learn a new track, and he's not really coming from a position like 45 year old Bayliss was with his comeback. A win might have been unachievable in the next round but possible in Argentina. Problem is if he comes back for these two races and struggles even slightly all the knockers would just say 'see he's way slower than Marquez' despite the difficulties involved in one off races at tracks he doesn't know. I love that he's thinking about it though, bring on a Phillip Island Wildcard!

After Argentina we have Jerez the 3th of May. 4 weeks after the surgery of Pedrosa. Jerez is a track that Stoner has done OK on ( won in 2012 ) and a much "easier" track to make a return to MotoGP in the absens of Pedrosa.

And he only had one other podium (2009) at Jerez, and that is across all classes, doubt Jerez would be his choice for a come back

In 2011 he was tangeled by Rossi in the wet after leading the opening laps. in 2010 he lead FP 1, in 2009 he was on the podium ( 3th ), in 2008 he was no 1 qualifyer and in 2007 he was 5th on the grid, a grid that had only 0,4 seconds between the 12 first ones....

I say he did OK in Jerez.

And lets not forget that in the dry in 2012 he won from pole with Honda and there has been Honda riders on top in both 2013 ( Pedrosa, Marquez no 2 ) and 2014 ( Marquez ).

I wish Honda could convince Stoner that there is no pressure. Get him to enjoy the racing again, as he does with testing. Don't force him to do any media stuff. Just let him race and have some fun for a few rounds.
Maybe then he'd actually do it.

Wouldn't be from Honda, it would be from his fans that expect him to turn up 2.5 years after retirement and expect him to win.

Being realistic and looking at Suppo's words... It's a week away from 2 new tracks in a row (COTA looking a hard track to learn full stop), he hasn't been training to ride a MotoGP a bike (which the other guys spend all winter preparing for), he has had very limited time on the bikes...

If you really think about it and try and ignore the fairytale fantasy, it's probably a pretty sensible decision for all parties. Stoner already has his legacy and it probably is better left alone now.

.. not the fans. So if Honda could convince him that everyone would be happy just to see him race, no matter the results, then perhaps he'd do it.

He might not get on the podium, but I'm sure he'd collect more points for Honda than Aoyama.

Thanks for that. This story was typed up in a hurry at an airport, after missing a night's sleep. Corrected that now.

Stoner has said that he doesn't get to set the bike up for testing - he has to ride it as is. He said that last time they allowed him to adjust the rear pre-load by 0.5mm and that was it.

... I take issue with this for some reason. It's just silly to me that the only way Stoner should make a wildcard appearance is if he's had an abundance of testing and be in a position to win. Why must that be the case? I also don't think most people expected Bayliss to finish on the podium or flat-out win a SBK race with so little preparation and so much time off. No, I think a lot of us were just excited to see him ride and be a part of the show again.

I understand "the expectations would be huge", but Jesus they need to get over themselves. Sounds like Stoner's ego would be at risk should he dare race a MotoGP bike again without being every bit as capable of taking a win as the guys still in the game. It's just reality that racing as a wildcard means not having an advantage compared to the series regulars. We as fans know this, and we're ok with it.

I don't think many of us are so ignorant as to expect a Stoner comeback to mean guaranteed competitiveness, that doesn't mean we wouldn't find enjoyment in it though.

Thats just it. Most would just be happy to see him race again, no matter the results.

"It's just silly to me that the only way Stoner should make a wildcard appearance is if he's had an abundance of testing and be in a position to win."

You see it that way because you're not a pathologically obsessed hyper-competitive racer.* Many of these guys are incapable of just "making the best of it" and doing something half-assed is simply not in their nature.

*not that that's a bad thing.

I'm not so sure. Us VR fans were probably all digging pretty deep to enjoy the year before last, let alone the two years prior. It's natural to want heroes to be battling for podiums if not wins and inevitably disappointing if they can't.

In reality, HRC don't need distractions for Marquez given the strong start by Yam and Duc.
Yeah I bet they spoke to Stoner but I doubt the conversation was ever about the option to ride Dani's bike... from either side.
Is this a belated April Fool's joke?

Looking back to 2012, I seem to recall that if a "damaged" (injured /sick / etc.) Stoner hadn't been racing Pedrosa likely would have taken the championship. There's a very real issue in a tight race with the 2nd rider taking points from the first, and while Lorenzo won the Championship in 2012, the Honda of this era is almost certainly a faster bike over the season than the Yamaha - with some caveats. 2011 - Stoner, 2012 - Lorenzo by the very skin of his teeth, 2013 - Marquez as a rookie, 2014 - Marquez in a walk.

If Stoner were to return, he may have the potential to take points from Marquez - potential that Pedrosa doesn't really have. This is especially an issue because Honda's strengths and Ducati's strengths - engine particularly - are very similar. Honda and Ducati have probably 25HP on Yamaha (consistent 3% higher aero-limited top speed at Qatar translates into 10% on the HP front), which is less relevant at momentum tracks like Phillip Island and Mugello, but highly important at the "point-and-shoot" tracks like COTA etc. So Stoner suddenly becomes a 3rd material threat to Marquez / Honda's championship hopes on the tracks where Honda has the biggest advantage.

The only sensible reasons for Honda to want Stoner back are: 1) he's demonstrably slower than Marquez, and is a good marketing idea; or 2) he's somewhat faster than Marquez - which I suspect is the case - and is a threat for the Championship.

I suspect that Honda talked to him, but probably aren't 100% sure they want him back. Stoner-Marquez is a great line-up, but it might be TOO great a line-up given the uncertainty introduced by Ducati and the Yamaha's competitiveness on the more flowing tracks.

It's a complex equation for sure and there is no doubt in my mind that Honda has thought through his much more deeply than any of us observers. Without Ducati's newfound competitiveness, I wonder if we would have seen Stoner racing? It would have been a treat to see him and Rossi going at it again.

Was ahead of Stoner in the championship in 2012 before Stoner got injured actually and was also ahead of Stoner in 2011 before he got taken out by Simo.

To say he doesn't have what it takes to contend is a little off the mark in my opinion.

Is not even a contest when you look at their career figures, even with Stoner on a Ducati. As teammates at Honda over 2 seasons Stoner had way more wins and scored more points despite the ankle injury in 2012 forcing him to spend a lot more time on the sidelines or racing injured compared to Dani over those same two seasons, including the 3 races Dani sat out in 2011. In 2012 they were separated by less than 10 points before Stoners injury with all Stoners strongest tracks to come, I know who my money would have been on. I like Dani and hope he can get back to full fitness but over his entire 10 year career as a factory RCV rider he averages less than 3 wins a season, which is rarely going to win you a title.

I still think Stoner wasn't 100% (those auto-immune diseases or whatever he had are no joke) in 2012, and after 8 races Stoner was ahead of Pedrosa by 19 points.

HOWEVER - I looked at the actual results and it turns out that Stoner only cost Dani 4 points over the course of the season, if my addition is correct. So Stoner didn't clearly cost Dani the championship with his early-season's success.

There were races where Stoner won, Lorenzo was 2nd and Dani 3rd. So Pedrosa actually gained a point in those circumstances, relative to Lorenzo (Lorenzo - absent Stoner - would have scored 25 and Dani 20, instead of 20 and 16) - Lorenzo and Yamaha were just too strong.

I think Dani is a good rider, I just don't think he's in Stoner's or Marquez's class.

Interesting...you "suspect" Honda want Stoner back because he is "somewhat faster" than Marquez and a threat for the championship. I think Honda want the two fastest riders they can reasonably secure.

That would be a mouth-watering match-up for sure, and we should all pray to the moto-gods that Casey's boredom will help get him back on a Honda. But I "suspect" that two years away while Marquez and everybody else have continued to hone themselves and their riding is the biggest problem along with the issues pointed out in the article.

I "suspect" that Stoner would get his ass handed to him "for a while" until he gets back into the groove, which might take the full season. I might favor him at PI but even that would be a long shot. For sure, difficult to pick who would win between 2011 Stoner and 2014 Marquez, but I've got plenty of money at the bookies for 2015 Stoner vs 2015 Marquez.

A 2016 Stoner, after at least half a season in 2015, vs Marquez on the same bike vs rejuvinated Rossi on the Yak vs fast Duc...well, dreams can come true! Bah, anyway, I'm happy enough with what we've got now! :)

The more I think about it, the worse the idea seems ... for Stoner. Much better to leave everyone wondering than to remove all doubt. Everyone on the track will be frothing at the gills for a chance to show they beat Stoner.

The first person you have to beat is your teammate, so he shouldn't even contemplate a return unless he is ready to swap paint, rubber, brake lines and sensor leads with Marquez.

In Honda Stoner wasn't overall that much better than Pedrosa, being vastly more experienced at the time than Marquez still is... He was a special rider for sure, but mentally he was weak. I liked his natural style and how he made the Ducati work for him, but don't see why you'd rate him as high as Rossi, Marquez, or even Lorenzo. Apart from their speed, these guys are tough sons of bitches, with a ruthless work ethic.

I have to say that I love reading people accuse Stoner of being mentally weak as for me first things first, no rider is mentally weak as if they were they would not be competitive and/or employed in a 'ride for pay' series.

That said and further, given what Stoner achieved on the Ducati which was a career destroying bike and factory regime behind it, I would say that he is far tougher than many. He survived on a Ducati that ended the career of the likes of Melandri who has frankly never been the same (and who had the fortitude to win w world title so himself is no slouch), all the while achieving results while working with the factory that has now been found to be largely dysfunctional as the result of Rossi failing for 2 years.

Nope, I would say that he is ridiculously mentally tough.

When Michael Schumacher and Gerhard Berger swapped teams, Berger after testing Schumacher's world championship Benetton-Ford, basically said the car was undrivable. Berger knew then that Schumacher was a special talent. This was effectively the same reaction from Rossi after testing Stoner's Ducati. I like Rossi, but Stoner is something else completely. His genius is his ability to adapt to the equipment. I was once taught to go fast, you have to drive/ride the vehicle you have, not the vehicle you wished you had. Rossi wasted too much time wishing the Ducati was a Yamaha; he was incapable of adapting his skill set to match the Ducati.

It is wrong to compare CS to VR. I agre with you that CS was somehow able to ride that Ducati, but it was more down to the fact that CS and that Ducati somehow gelled together. Casey riding style suited the Ducati. But to say he is better than VR, well, that is untrue. VR is at a different level with a totaly different riding style, he is more of the old school rider as oppose to Casey.

In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Rossi showed to the world what a races and talent he is, winning on a less capable bike against Repsol Honda and factory Ducati. Coming back from two dark years at Ducati and beating your double world champion team mate at 36?

Rossi is the only rider, perhaps in the history of MotoGP that adapted to different generation of bikes and beaten his rivals.

Stoner also has a superior head to head record vs Rossi with more wins and points over the same period, and though they had equal titles while racing each other, Stoner spent far more time on the Ducati and had to spend a year in Checchinello's small satellite outfit. Stoner's speed on the Duc isn't a magic 'gel' trick. He forced the Ducati to work by working his ass off in practice with his crew to come up with a semi rideable machine come race day and adapting his own style to enhance the bikes strengths and minimise it's weaknesses. The fact that he was able to then go and win a title on a Honda which hadn't taken a title for 5 years shows its not just some sort of style fluke. Rossi admitted he had underestimated Stoner before joining Ducati and also said he couldn't emulate Stoners technique, which is exactly what all the Other Duc riders said. The data traces are all there in black and white after all.

Suggest you read Stoner's autobiography if you are still among the un-enlightened who think him mentally weak.

I would like to make a suggestion -

If you aren't following it yet, here is 12 rounds of GREAT racing on old school wonderful tight technical tracks with some really good riders just waiting for you to start watching. This wknd is the season opener at Donington.

You can see the new R1M make its racing debut w a solid rider in Josh Brookes. James Ellison has switched from the old R1 to a Kawi. Honda has a well backed squad in there again, and a woman rider on their Superbike team! Tyco, a strong team, switched from the Suzuki to BMW, and they have exciting riders. There is a kid that won BSS last year I like that just moved up to the big bikes. In BSS none other than a certain beloved purple helmeted TT front runner has hopped on a Smiths Triumph 675R to adjust to it before adding that class to his big one at the TT's this season.

How long did you just spend reading about dreamy speculation re Stoner? You can't have that time back...

This is some great racing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ihF83HfMk

Best racing series on the planet. The 1999 season review gets a run at my place a couple of times a year, and it's on VHS! LOL. It's the only reason I keep the VHS player in the garage... if you had to choose a single race series and a specific year, as the only complete season you were allowed to watch - that's the one. Batshit insane racing :)

Thanks V4 for the tip, looking for the 99 season DVD on Ebay right now. Excited to follow this season. BSS is good too! Just watched all the Donington schtuff, it is all up on youtube for the clicking....
Vroom!

Stoner coming back will be better enjoyed by me when it is a surprise. I don't think about my Mum's boobs either, and they were a big deal way back too. I give them a comeback in my dietary regimen at similar odds. Casey doesn't owe any of us anything. He may owe himself something in MotoGP, but it just isn't about anything else in the end. And I can give the man some respectful space about it as always. That was what he didn't get in the first place.

And yes, he is a very strong minded person. And I am still waiting for a call from any of these guys for treatment in my clinic. Sincerely, Melandri could use it now, poor guy. Edwards last year was the guy I thought about the most lately, would have loved to see how I could have been of help. Stoner? I have a hunch in working with him a greater conviction would arise on his part that he felt he was in a washing machine the whole time he was in the paddock and is just grateful to be out of it. It isn't for every fast motorcycle racer to be in the circus. I respect him for it even though it makes me a bit sorrowful, just like I did when he took time out to sort out his gut health concern that was elusive.

Next race wknd is a double MotoGP and WSBK! Who could ask for more....

When I read this story on another site a couple of days ago, Suppo commented that they didn't want any distractions in the garage after starting with a 5th place finish at Qatar. Sounds to me like the real reason is they're scared Casey would take points off the boy genius and hinder his title defense. (and I'm not a Stoner fan)

To those who say just tell him there's no pressure I say you have no idea what the pressure to perform on a race bike is like. From the grass roots local stuff to the MotoGP level the rider is the first one to put pressure on himself and everyone else just compounds it. The comparison to Troy Bayliss is appropriate in every way. Regardless of what they may say it is crushing to yourself when you realize you can't perform at the level you used to.
To those of you who remember Fast Freddy Spencer, who won the 250 and 500 GranPrix classes in the same year, his comeback even at the AMA superbike level was ego destroying if you ever saw it. It was painful to see and talk to him at the races.
Personally I hope both Bayliss and Stoner still ride for their own personal enjoyment but stay away from world class competition for their own good both physically and mentally.

Are not the same. Casey is 16 years younger and the bike and tyres he'd be using aren't that different to what he raced with not that long ago. On top of that he's actually tested the current bike and helped develop it. Stoner wouldnt consider returning unless he knew he'd be racing to win.

Are not the same. Casey is 16 years younger and the bike and tyres he'd be using aren't that different to what he raced with not that long ago. On top of that he's actually tested the current bike and helped develop it. Stoner wouldnt consider returning unless he knew he'd be racing to win.

you sneaky sneaky bastard.. always with the top stories my man! keeps bringing smiles to my face..

motomatters.com is the SHIT! best motogp reporting today.

I am not surprised that Honda called CS but I am surprised that CS27 would even consider racing.

It's tough to say how much he actually considered riding as we only get Suppo's side of the story here.

I think he Stoner could be competitive - he's got some Honda gene that only he and MM93 have...

Truthfully, though he has a gift I don't miss him or wonder about the match ups or competiveness with MM, ....with his attitude and general disdain for Motogp... I, regretfully, say good riddance CS27.. enjoy your retirement and let those that have passion to race do just that...

then this article dares going even further, assuring that Stoner wanted to do it but management hesitated for the aforementioned reasons.

http://www.todocircuito.com/noticias/7938-casey-stoner-se-ofrecio-para-c...

If the above article was true, we've been deprived of some of the most historic couple of races, because of bad reasons. Whatever the outcome, the presence of Stoner on the track aboard Pedrosa's bike would have been a sold out show.

When he comes back?he is still the fastest to a leg over

Stoner was NEVER going to ride, it wasn't even an option, but Honda asked him if he'd be willing to give them a bit of free publicity without having to put in any personal effort.

"Hey, Casey, mind if we use some fake 'he almost got the ride' press leaks to gin up a little free pub?"

Why would he say no? In the meantime, assuming this is what happened, it certainly appears to be working. There's an awful lot of talk about Repsol and Honda right now. An awful lot of pictures of RCVs sprinkled into a lot of speculative articles. Whether manufactured or not, there's some serious lemonade being made out of this lemon at the moment in terms of page hits and eyeballs locked in.

HRC could definitely do that. But this is all Stoner hates, he would not write a fake tweet just for some PR. Not his style.
As Mr Emmett said, the real (surprising!) part of info is: Stoner was genuinely interested.

Indeed. HRC is very much afraid of Stoner, they know what he is capable of doing and that is exactly why they have him under contract. I think in the near future someone from Borgo panigale will dial a certain racer's number.

From a #46 fan.

Anyone who has raced will understand just how difficult it is to give up, especially when forced to do so by injury or circumstances.
Racing has been Casey's life for most of the time he has been on Earth, although he know's he has made a sensible decision, the side of his brain which made him take risks will be pulling at him until the end!

IMHO, Casey should should leave Honda and join Ducati or Yamaha. I believe Casey still has the potential to win the championship. Casey's return will benefit everybody except Honda and Dorna as they are very much afraid that their golden boy MM won't make it into VR#2. Please Gigi, sign Casey and give him whatever he wants, run 3 bike, whatever. I just want to see tears in Suppo and Nakamoto's eyes. Please, please, please..... MotoGP needs Casey Stoner.

I am glad that David Emmett has agreed that he has been proved wrong about Stoner's intentions of never ever returning to MotoGP. In another post, I have said that I somehow feel that it is curtains for Dani Pedrosa's MotoGP career, however unjust that maybe. In the long run Hiroshi Ayoyama and his ilk are not adequately skilled riders to sitting in the Repsol Honda saddle. At some point, Honda is bound to realise that there is not enough of a talent pool in the present MotoGP paddock to dip into for a replacement for Pedrosa. I honestly believe that the likes of Cal Crutchlow, Miller (not for a couple of years yet), Hayden etc would pass muster. Even the second rung Yamaha riders, Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl, Smith, or any other would be a justification for sitting on the Honda. Marc Marquez's phenomenal talent has made even decent talent look very ordinary at best. Stoner is my man for the seat. MotoGP is a little less farcical than what it was when Casey Stoner left. He may want to. I always believed Stoner has lot of unfinished business in MotoGP (not in Suzuka 8 hrs). A man of his calibre deserves a few more world titles in him. And I always say, I am not a big fan of his, but boy oh boy I would really love to see him back in MotoGP.

Are you serious? We have factory bikes, semi factory bikes, open bikes, three or four types of Ducatis (15, 14.2, 14.1 with/without Magneti Marelli elec.), 22 or 24 litres of fuel, six types of rubber with restrictions for factory bikes, different regulations with consequences for (improbable) top-3-results/wins for open bikes and so on. Consistency has a different look/feel for me (the "status quo" of course has specific reasons, I know...).

Casey always said that he dislikes where MotoGP was heading to (from 2010/11 on). Despite the fact that (on paper) we have the most competitive (number of world titles etc.) MotoGP of all time, I still don´t have the same appreciation (love) that I had in the early years of the new millenium (I have tears in my eyes thinking about Rossi's first win on the early and not really competitive M1, Laguna Seca 2006 or Hoppers and Vermuelens top results on the 800cc Suzuki).

Something has changed in the past 4-5 years for me (my heart); Casey's retirement was a big break/cut for me personally (regarding my feelings for MotoGP racing). But of course it is all subjective...

Greetings from (cold but sunny) Germany.

P.S. To all here who speak (understand) German. Study the work of brain researcher Prof. Dr. Hüther. The will explain to you that cognitive-emotional interdependencies (left and right brain hemisphere) are the reason why we (= Stoner "fans") all still "hope" for a Stoner comeback. The past always seems so "bright" and beautiful (well, most of the time)... ;) ... deep emotions, hope etc. = urge to survive...

Where will this sport be without its fans.....Sorry for the fans is an irrelevant statement...I smell a grudge between Suppo and Stoner......completely wrong decision....

I don't think it would of been wise for him to come back so soon anyhow so the heads at HRC was right to not get so excited about it. Of course it would be pretty awesome to see how'd Casey would fair this coming weekend. I have a feeling they're already talking about a wildcard ride at Phillip Island!

A bust up between HRC and Stoner because of some supposed ignorant comments from Suppo...
Hmmm, Stoner for a return to Ducati? Niiicccceeee!

Where is he in this conversation? Does he not rank above Suppo? Is he not Stoners best HRC friend? Has he not on multiple occasions tried to lure Stoner out of retirement? If Stoner in fact wanted to do these two races, you would think he would make it happen in a heartbeat. Perhaps Stoner, who always raced to win, knew he really wasn't given enough time to properly prepare for the race and it was a joint effort by Suppo and Stoner to state all this in a manner that would hint at future return by Stoner, just not now. If there is some amount of friction between Honda and Stoner that has developed because of all this, perhaps Stoner will move on. Who's to know. This is really fun for me, as I am a huge Stoner fan. I would love to see him sign a contract with Yamaha and have the chance to win a race or a championship on three different makes. More to the point, I would love to see him come back, period.

Probably not.
Consider that Stoner is going to race at Suzuka and also he was willing to sub for Dani in Moto GP.
These things tell me that Stoner has warm feelings for Honda.

Take into account when in GP racing, what Stoner said, wasn't always what Casey knew was the truth. As Casey himself famously said, 'don't believe everything you read in the media'. For internet-only media, this goes doubly true. If you're a Stoner fan - and you've still been following him, it has been obvious he is still immersed in racing. Be it Cars, Karts, models, fandom, etc. The bug hasn't left him. So to say he will 'never ever' come back is premature, but also it doesn't truly understand what makes him tick, and what makes him tick is racing. He was bred as a racer cause that's what he was best at. And he's still young, of course, he's going to miss it.

Stoner also famously said he would never race Superbikes as his only interest was in cutting edge, prototype racing. And now he's in the 8 hour on a Superbike. See the pattern here ?

I've often thought Stoner might suit WSBK - there's not the same amount of BS that he hated around it as there is in MotoGP, and you still have 300kmh bikes to ride. Besides - someone has to put a cat amongst all those British pigeons...

It's also worth noting from his twitter pics/instagram that he looks like he's kept himself at riding fitness levels, hasn't let the good/retired lifestyle expand him in all dimensions. And the whole family seem to do dirt bike training together.
Looks like his daughter is already racing!