Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Casey Stoner Returns

News broke yesterday that Casey Stoner is returning to MotoGP. Rumors were gathering pace that he was ready to leave his role as a test rider for the Repsol Honda Team at the end of this year when his contract expired. It has happened sooner than that and both Honda and Stoner released statements both confirming Stoner's departure from the Repsol Honda Team.
Stoner testing for the Repsol Honda Team

To be honest I am delighted. I thought it was a bad move on Honda's part to not invite Stoner to replace Dani Pedrosa for the races he could not compete in due to his rehabilitation. The excuse they used was that they did not want Casey to be embarrassed as he might not get a podium as it has been so long since he rode a MotoGP bike. Talk about a slap in the face!

Casey Stoner is one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time. It takes him one lap to get up to speed. I can remember him during qualifying before he retired, he would set his fastest lap at the first attempt, and that was the old method qualifying used to run under.

Anyway, Casey has finally returned where he belongs and is appreciated, The Ducati team. This is where Casey took the MotoGP championship by storm in 2007, destroying the field with ten victories and fourteen podiums on his way to claiming Ducati's only MotoGP Championship. The 2008 and 2009 seasons were also good to the Ducati team while they had Casey on the bike.

Casey will assume the role of test rider for the Ducati Team. He could also do a few wild - card races for testing purposes, or he could even replace one of the Ducati riders should they get injured during the season. This is quite possible as Iannone has an injured shoulder and that could cause him trouble during the season, hopefully not of course.

My opinion is that Stoner will get Andrea Dovizioso's seat for the 2017 season. Someone is going to lose their seat to Casey and I think he the most likely candidate, unless he has a great 2016 season.
I would love to see Casey back on the Ducati racing full time. I loved to watch him race that bike, even if I didn't like him very much as a person you had to respect the man's talents on a MotoGP bike, he was unbelievable and a huge loss to the championship when he retired in 2012.

Welcome back Casey Stoner! #27

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