Stoner to ride for HRC in 2011
Friday, 09 July 2010
It has been announced that as of the end of the 2010 season the Australian’s four-year association with Ducati will end. For the 2011 season Stoner will become a factory Honda rider.
Casey Stoner will ride for HRC next season after confirmation this morning (Friday, July 9th) that the 24 year-old Australian will end his association with Ducati, a relationship that lasted four years and delivered a MotoGP World Championship title in his first season with the Italian factory.
Ducati announced that after “four years of extraordinary collaboration” the final race of the 2010 season at Valencia on November 7th would signal the end of a partnership that started in 2007, the season in which the Desmosedici GP7 made its debut in the new 800cc category and in which Stoner won the MotoGP title.
“I would like to thank Casey on behalf of our fans and our sponsors, but most of all on behalf of all the people working at Ducati,” commented Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Director. “The victories and emotions he gave us rewarded all the hard work and sacrifice we made. In these four years together we have had a lot of great moments. Securing the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title and the victory at Mugello in 2009 were moments that we will never forget. In Casey we not only found an incredibly talented rider, but also an honest and loyal guy and that’s why there will always be a strong and sincere bond between us, even as a competitor.”
Stoner said: “I must thank Ducati for giving me such a great opportunity to race and win with them over these past four years. They took a gamble when they signed me at the end of 2006 as I was unknown, but as we worked together we were able to win a Championship, many races and challenge for the Championship in the last two seasons. I have now decided to move on and I will have new challenges in the future and different obstacles to overcome, but I will not forget these years with Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work so closely with. So a big thanks to Ducati and all our sponsors who we have shared success with while achieving lifelong goals.”
Shortly after Ducati’s announcement HRC confirmed that Stoner will be a factory Honda rider in next season’s team. Stoner joined Ducati in 2007 having rode for the LCR Honda team in his debut season in 2006.
“We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year,” said HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto. “Clearly he is one of the top riders in MotoGP and he will bring valuable speed and experience to our team. In the factory Honda squad we already have two very strong and experienced riders in Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso who are performing very well and currently hold second and third positions in the 2010 World Championship. HRC hopes also to retain these two riders for next year - giving us what would be a truly formidable line-up.”