MotoGP - Casey Stoner returns to Ducati, becomes Test Rider and Brand Ambassador!
Snapshot: The news that we have been waiting for has just been confirmed, Wow!!
Finally! after much famed rumours and discussions it has been finally declared to the world that Casey Stoner will indeed shift back to Ducati from Honda, this time around Casey Stoner will be joining Ducati as the official Test Rider and the Brand Ambassador for the company. This move comes after Stoner's five year long work with Honda, where for the first two years he was the factory rider for the Repsol Honda MotoGP team while after his retirement back in 2012, Casey was the company's MotoGP test rider in the last three years.
In the press release by Honda, regarding Casey's move, Honda has thanked Stoner's five year collaboration with them and for the world championship that Stoner brought the Japanese motorcycle giant back in 2011, there first after many years of being title less. Stoner's shift back to Ducati is being said to have triggered since he was only testing the Honda MotoGP prototypes only rarely, in the order of only 2-3 days a year. Also, it has been widely said Stoner had felt underutilized at HRC during his time as a test rider for Honda. This has been namely caused by two things, first as reported in various media outlets, Marc Marquez felt threatened by Stoner’s presence as a test rider, and has on a number of occasions criticized the input Stoner had given on the development of the RC213V project, it is rumoured that Marquez claimed he had to test everything Stoner had already tested, to check Stoner’s feedback, as Stoner's times were said to have been over a second slower to that of Marquez.
Secondly, Stoner, wanted to substitute Dani Pedrosa when he was injured, but Honda had cited his slower speeds as the reason why he was not allowed to race, while Honda used their other test riders for the same, riders who were much slower than the Australian legend.
This is where, Ducati shift comes as no surprise since, Stoner has always had good relations with Ducati even after his switch to Honda on 2011. Adding to the fact that Casey has a long good relationship with Gigi Dall’Igna who is the head of Ducati Corse, both know each other well since the times when Stoner used to race with Aprilia in 125's and 250's,where Stoner finished the championship as a runner up in the 250 championship to Dani Pedrosa, thus a switch to Ducati would have become more attractive for the Aussie.
Add to the fact that Stoner is the only racer to have wont Ducati a MotoGP title (in 2007), was also the last race winner on a Ducati , that is a long five years since their last victory in the premier class. Thus Ducati have a lot a reasons and all good to sign Stoner for his services. Add to that Ducati also needs someone to fast forward the development of the Ducati GP16, no doubt the GP15 had been a revelation but the all new bike still needs some improvement, especially on the Chassis front to become a force to reckon with every race weekend. Stoner's arrival for testing, along with Pierro (who has proven himself in a great way already) should add valuable understanding and data to develop the GP16 for Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, the two factory rides for Ducati.
With Iannone who has matured into the very very fast rider who is capable to fight for a podium every race weekend and Dovizioso who is a very technical and smooth rider capable of giving precise inputs, Ducati seems to be hell bent to get back to its winning ways as soon as possible and this gives another dimension of thrill to the 2016 MotoGP season that is scheduled to begin on March 20th, at Qatar in 2016.
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