Casey Stoner - Private Tests Only For The Foreseeable Future

Casey Stoner will not be making any public appearances on the Ducati Desmosedici any time soon. Although the Australian has been formally announced as test rider for Ducati, he will not be riding at the official tests at Sepang at the beginning of February.

Speaking to Italian website GPOne.com, Ducati MotoGP boss Davide Tardozzi said "There are still some details to arrange, but for sure, Stoner will do his first test in Malaysia, before the first official test." Stoner will test alongside Ducati's long-time official test rider Michele Pirro, where he will give the Desmosedici GP16 its first run out. The Australian did the same thing at the beginning of 2015 for Honda, testing the RC213V ahead of the official test in early February.

The most important thing for Ducati was not that Stoner should be fast from the off, but that he should get used to the feel of the bike, and work his way towards being as fast as possible. "We don't want to force him too soon," Tardozzi told GPOne, "but when you can push at the limit as we know he can, his feedback will be very important to us. We are organizing a few tests with him so that he can understand the bike and get his confidence back."

Stoner is likely to be in Italy some time soon, however. Ducati are trying to arrange for him to visit the factory in Bologna, so that they can measure him up for a bike, and figure out where the footrests, seat, handlebars and tank need to be. Getting the seating position and dimensions right on the new bike is crucial, but Stoner also has a few more details of the contract to finalize. All of this is likely to be finalized before Christmas, Stoner still having a house in Switzerland, and possibly combining a skiing vacation with a trip to Bologna.

What Stoner's program will be after Sepang is unknown. Ducati are likely to have private tests for the test team at Jerez and Mugello, and the test team will likely be active ahead of the official tests at Phillip Island in the middle of February and at Qatar in early March. There is still no word on whether Stoner will do any wild cards, but if he does, the Phillip Island round is the most likely place for that to happen.

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Having Casey back at Ducati is great news for me and the rest of his fans. I hope he gets more time on the bike than he did at Honda. Also, I hope Ducati is less secretive about his results. I gleen the net daily for any news I can get about him and other favorite riders. I was thinking about the real possibility of Rossi going to SBK after next year. He isn't going to get another championship in MotoGP, last season was his last real chance, I think. However, in his constant search for racing immortality, I wouldn't put it past him to go to SBK after next year. On a decent machine , he could easily win that championship and become the first to win both SBK and Grand Prix/MotoGp titles. With the constant chatter about the cost of racing in MotoGP, if Rossi were to shift his effort to that series, it could open the flood gates for others to follow. The fan base would probably shift dramaticly towards SBK. Race on Sunday and sell on Monday would once again become the mantra, as SBK races production based machines. I know I have no chance of ever seeing Casey race full or even part time again, but the thought of him being partnered up with his mate Chaz on the factory Ducati superbike is intriguing. The Rossi/Stoner battle again? This is the stuff dreams are made of!

>>He isn't going to get another championship in MotoGP, last season was his last real chance, I think.

After all we've seen from him how can you make a statement like that? Especially next year with the double change of Michelins and control software. One of Rossi's many talents is making the most of other people's misfortune and 2016 may give him ample opportunity to practice it.

Chris

Does it become difficult for rossi? Yes.. But was it the last chance? Not in any way by a long stretch. This same old "last chance" thing have been going on forever. And yet he proves all of them wrong year after year.

As MM and Honda proved this year past performance is not an indicator of future achievements. Yamaha could drop the ball, VR46 could push too hard or not enough. As people love to quote NH thats why we race on Sundays.

I guess Honda does not want CS27 to take away too much knowledge over to Ducati for the season 2016, so that the earliest impact should be at the 2017 model.Just my thinking-David?

By P.I. we will have a Stoner up to speed on a well sorted bike. Against Rossi, Marquez and that other fast guy from Spain. And it will be "just right." We know about Stoner and his preference for/skill with less electronics. He also isnt comparably invested in a planted or buried front in braking and turn in as per his success with the old Ducati front end. He has a lot going for him potentially w adaptation to Michelin. Promising!

One caveat being that racing is different than testing. What will Stoner be able to recultivate of battling it out and risk taking that a MotoGP race weekend asks?

(No reason I see for any Honda anything from here on out re Stoner and Duc. Nor for Rossi and any other motorcycle road racing series after MotoGP. He will go to four wheels and consider it a transition to a second pre retirement career, while upping his involvement w Sky46 and a program developing primarily Italian talent).

Don't miss the P.I. GP this year!

I believe that Stoner would ride a wildcard at P.I. IF he feels that both he and the bike are good enough to make it to the front and ride the race in clear air, for the sheer satisfaction of once again riding his favorite circuit for the challenge of pitching his skills on the machine against the tarmac.

AFAIK, only Stoner and Rossi have won in the premier class at P.I. in two different makes of bike. In Stoner's case, twice winning when coming back from an enforced lay-off from racing, ('09 and '12), and in the '12 case, while still obviously physically affected by his huge Indianapolis crash.

While the 'conventional wisdom' that Stoner doesn't like to 'race' as in beating an opponent is complete BS -(witness Catalunya '07, which should have laid that to rest instantly, L.S. '08, L.S. '11 for a few examples), Stoner himself has stated many times that his greatest challenger is himself: he rides ultimately for the satisfaction of perfecting the man/machine interface on the given tarmac at the given time. Witness Silverstone '11: torrential conditions that bought down Lorenzo, Spies, Simoncelli: Stoner ran the ride to a win of plus 15 seconds over the only other HRC machine running. Riders who ride only to win, don't pull out 15-second leads on a track awash; Stoner was riding to satisfy himself of his performance on the day.

IF Stoner elects to ride at P.I. in 2016, it will be because he has the vision of that ribbon of track in front of him, open for him to use every millimetre to see just what he can do on the machine. It will be, for Stoner, between himself, the bike, and the track. He won't ride to see if he's faster than Marquez, or Lorenzo, or Rossi, or whoever; he'll ride to see if he still has the magic to take a bike to 99.99% of the laws of physics for 27 laps of the fastest circuit on the motoGp calendar - the acknowledged 'Everest' of the season.

Dare one bastardise it to be: It takes a great company to be a good listener...

Honda did not listen to Stoner's concern regarding last year's model, which contributed to a disappointing year for Marquez etc.

Will Ducati listen? I truly hope so. I think people are a little pessimistic about Stoner's willingness to race, to be honest I feel his retirement was premature, and likely due to his world being made up solely of 'racing since he was a wee tacker'! Always away from family, continually following the circuit, and he was also vilified for airing some of his frustrations, making the situation untenable for his slightly introverted personality.

1. He'll see if the Duke is fast;
2. He'll do his best to make it championship winning;
3. He'll have time to see if he can 'regain the speed' needed; and
4. Then Stoner himself will decide if he wants to race again.

I think it will come down to whether Stoner enjoys the whole test process again, if he does, he'll race.

People often see him as the young world champion and think he must have had a great life racing motorcycles for a living and being good at it. They didn't see the years his family spent chasing regional races around the huge landmass of Australia, then moving to Europe to spend his life sharing a bunk bed with Chaz Davies in the bike trailer - towed behind a camper van that the parents stayed in.

I wish he was still racing, but I really hope that he's happy doing what he's doing. I just hope that he decides he'd be happy to race again.

Even if Honda didn't listen to him would Ducati be any better to be a development rider for? Yes, they revamped the entire staff but brought the GP15 late to pre-season testing and are bringing the GP16 late to pre-season testing again. There didn't seem to be lots of development parts over the year except for the winglets. The other manufacturers advanved, Ducati did not. In the long run I'm not sure if Ducati have changed their ways.

During Pedrosa's absence Honda has pretty clearly shown that they do not want Stoner to race, for whatever reason. Its a bit weak hearing how Marquez felt so threatened by him.

The only other thing that could be a factor is him being really pissed about getting a dodgy throttle at Suzuka but is that enough to drive him from Honda? I don't think so.

So why leave Honda? I think he wants to race again. Maybe not a full season but definitely be in the mix, especially at PI. He can say whatever he wants until we are all blue in the face but after his 'I'm not retiring, I'm retiring' routine I won't believe anything he says!

Chris

For someone of Casy's abilities and dislike of the 'show biz' side of the sport, this has got to be the perfect job. He gets to do the thing he loves best (and does better than practically anyone else in the world) and he can leave the PR bullshit and pit lane politics to others. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. His nickname will have to change to 'smiler'!

This is very strange.
In Stoner's autobiography, he stated that it would be a cold day in hell when he rode for Ducati again. He explaines in numerous paragraphs how Ducati had betrayed him when he fell ill in 2009. Ducati had talked about his condition to the press and made big money approaches to Jorge Lorenzo to replace him when he missed races. On that break from racing, whilst he was able to go deep sea fishing in Australia, he got an email from Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Corse, stating 'I hope you don't expect to get paid for this.' The relationship between Stoner and Ducati was seriously damaged at that point.
How can Ducati take him back after all this bad blood?

That was a very different company, with a lot of different people involved. If I understand it correctly, much of the pressure on Ducati came from Maurizio Arrivabene in Marlboro. He is one of many of the principals who have moved on. Arrivabene is now running Ferrari in F1, Filippo Preziosi has been moved, even Domenicali has been given a different role. I think the arrival of Ciabatti and Tardozzi made a difference, but the biggest difference was the fact that Gigi Dall'Igna is now in charge. Stoner knows him from his days on a 250 and a 125. That was probably what convinced him.

Actually, he was Barra fishing in the Kimberley (an important difference if you fish), I know as I was there, a different boat, but he was the 'top secret special guest' that was flown into a little mining camp/town airstrip, then moved onto an incredibly luxurious motor cruiser which is owned by a major Australian business man. In effect he was fishing from a little tinnie in Croc infested little rivulets, he was in the only other little tinnie in the same bloody stretch of water - literally 50 metres away, the Kimberley is vast and sparsely populated and a very dangerous place if you make a mistake. Unfortunately, I did not recognise him under his 'sun hat and protective gear', only realising my mistake shortly later upon returning to our 'mother ship', when it was too late to say hello! Damn it!

Anyway, thank you for allowing me the opportunity reminisce about my near miss of meeting my all time favourite sports star... jeez I have a sad life if that's as good as gets...

You'll see him again somewhere, he gets around a bit. I was at the Motocross Nationals round at Coolum (Sunshine Coast) last year when Doohan flew in in his gunmetal Squirrel, with Stoner aboard. My kids and I just happened to be messing around the paddock where they landed, so were able to say hello and my 10yo daughter - far from shy, that one - asked Doohan if he gave rides to kids :)

If you follow him on facebook then he will often tell you where he's going to be. He has a number of hobbies and posts about where he's going to be doing them.

The main reason Stoner left Ducati was because they refused to listen to him, and make the changes he asked them to. It's hard to blame Stoner for the direction which Ducati took, as they simply weren't listening to any of their riders. Rossi didn't improve the Ducati much in his time there either, because Ducati weren't listening. It took the arrival of Gigi Dall'Igna to truly turn the bike around. 

Interesting point this. Is it really fair on the old guard at Ducati to say they didn't listen? I feel a bit sorry for Preziosi that he's become this sort of whipping boy for all of their problems when at least some of them appear to have been their continually limited resources.
When Rossi was there they made a LOT of changes to the bike, basically everything possible without starting with a clean sheet (which is actually what was required). The evolution of the GP11 and GP12 just looks like "what can we do to make it better without making a whole engine (which we can't afford)". By the time the bike had sprouted an ally frame and had the engine rotated back a significant degree, the good points that it did have were compromised by the inappropriate (heavy, wrong geometry) engine.
It was only with the arrival of Audi money, and after a transitional year under the German guy, that they put proper plans in place in the form of Gigi and a clean sheet design. And yet, even in 2015 the lack of significant updates throughout the year is noticeable. After an unexpectedly strong start to the season (helped by both Repsols often being MIA) they faded to mediocre with the exception of Ianonne at PI.
Do they really have the resources of H&Y to fight with them toe to toe in such an expensive game?

Stoner said the same thing about the Ducati that Rossi did, that Hayden, did, that pretty much everyone did. Stoner simply had the ability to ride around the bike's deficiencies from time to time like no one else could.

I have to say - Ducati seem to be aligning all of the right factors to put on a strong season. I feel that their factory is building momentum that will make them a force to be reckoned with again in the next couple of years. With Gigi Dall'Igna at the helm, we've seen; a revised bike platform, all-team approach (including satellite teams in the development discussion), a talented rider roster, and now a world-champion development rider. That is one hell of a good recipe. Pretty amazing considering the dark place they were in just a couple of years ago.

When it was first revealed that Stoner was going to be testing at Ducati I was in shock, but then happy. Always associated Stoner with Ducati more than any other manufacturer. Still have a poster of Stoner coming off a corner on the Red Beast.

Ducati did not listen to their riders for years. Gigi coming through has been like cool air on a burning hot summer day at Ducati. It is evident in the way they seem to work now. Even watching from the outside. The bike IS better than it has been in years. The communication is better about HOW to ride the bike seen through the riders on the non factory machines. It seems like they are in a different place than when Stoner left.

Don't know if Stoner will race again full time. But VOLUNTEERING to ride while Pedrosa was out was BIG telltale sign for showing he still has some competitive feelings. I personally think Honda made a mistake by turning him down. Speaking of Honda. They have a LONG history even longer than Ducati for feeling like it is the bike that is good, not the rider. Ask Rossi. ;)

I said this before. I never warmed up to Casey Stoner and therefore was never his fan. But what I do have in abundance is great respect for his true genius as a motorcycle racer. If Stoner is testing for Ducati, it means nothing to me, since I do not get to see him riding the Ducati GP 16. Its a bit like motorcycle journalists in India making hell of a noise when brands like Ducati and Indian make a foray into the Indian market. Given their stratospheric pricing no ordinary persons like me get to see the machines anywhere. So for me it is a whole lot of brouhaha about nothing. I am applying the same logic to private tests of the Ducati by Stoner. It would have some meaning if he raced and that is what he should be doing since he is genius of a racer. Even if I saw him test the motorcycle, the situation would be akin to going to a pub to drink water.

Personally- I think Stoner might to too fast for testing role. He might do very good times on a test bike- but others will find the bike a beast and not be able to get the best from it...
I saw Stoner when he was 15, totally annihilate the opposition at Brand hatch. I have only seen a performance like that from Freddie Spencer before, an none like it since.
Moto Gp has done alright without him, but it would add even more depth, if he came back for 2017 season- full time.
I hope that is what all this is leading to.
The difference at Honda, is it has a Spanish star, and sponsored by Repsol.
Ducati, I think will have no reticence in him beating any current riders.
Oh, and anyone who writes off Rossi, as done- is a fool.

As my opinion was that Spencer was the most naturally gifted rider I would ever see, he was sublime... And then along comes Casey, Casey is now my number one, in terms of pure unadulterated bike speed. I have also refrained suggesting that I will never see another as gifted as Stoner...