Following a full day of testing at Twin Ring Motegi on Wednesday, former MotoGP™ World Champion Casey Stoner has stated that he is not planning any wildcard race appearances.
Stoner, who retired from MotoGP™ at the end of 2012, was set for a two-day Motegi test across Tuesday and Wednesday. The opening day was chiefly washed out and only six laps were possible, but on the second the Australian was able to enjoy a full day of running and a total of 47 tours.
He began proceedings on the 2013 RC213V and continued into the afternoon, then switching to the 2014 prototype.
“Thankfully today the weather improved a lot, in fact it was pretty hot, and we were able to get some good track time and work on our test programme,” Stoner explained of the day. “We had a productive day in general and thankfully the test plan wasn’t too hectic, so we were able to get most of it done today after yesterday’s washout. It was great to see the team, even if there were only a few people here, and I thank Honda for all their support as ever.”
Quashing rumours that he may be returning as a wildcard for selected rounds between now and the end of the 2013 MotoGP™ campaign, Stoner continued:
“It felt really good to get back on the bike after nine months and I’m happy with how the test went, but it doesn’t change my mind about the wildcards – this is not something I am planning to do.”
Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice President, revealed that Stoner is set for more test appearances in the near future.
“Over the course of Casey’s two-day test, we’ve been able to gather a vast amount of data and ideas for development,” Nakamoto began. “Consequently, we aim to increase our pace of development and hope that this, in-turn, will lead to us winning this year’s championship. We focused exclusively on the RC213V, but in future tests we’ll get Casey to test-ride the tentatively named MotoGP Production Racer and assist in raising its level of performance even further.”
Also at Motegi were the Yamaha Test Team as well as Suzuki, with Randy de Puniet continuing his programme. Over at Brno in the Czech Republic, Yamaha Factory Racing are in attendance with both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.