Casey Stoner will make a return to Ducati in 2016 as an official test rider and brand ambassador, seven years after winning the MotoGP title with them. Since retiring from racing at the end of 2012, Stoner has served as test rider for HRC but his five year association with them is now over, paving a way for a return to the manufacturer he won 23 races with between 2007 and 2010.
The new agreement does not confirm rumours of wildcard appearances in 2016 but Stoner is delighted to be reunited with Ducati and he hopes to play his part in their return to MotoGP glory.
“It’s been a great journey with HRC over the last five years, winning the World Championship in 2011 was obviously a high point and I’ve made many friends and formed lasting relationships along the way. For 2016 I am very excited to announce that I will again be joining the Ducati team! I have so many great memories working with the people and the brand of Ducati and the opportunity to work with them again is something very special. Gigi Dall’Igna has brought with him a new approach and I’m looking forward to assisting the team, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone however I can. The Ducati brand and the Ducati fans have been such a big part of my career and my life, so it will be really great to reunite the relationship and start another chapter with this iconic brand.”
Stoner will also appear at World Ducati Week in July 2016 and Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, believes he will be a valuable addition to the Bologna squad.
“Stoner has always remained in the hearts of all the Ducatisti and I am really pleased that he has decided to come back to our family. Casey has an extraordinary talent and with his experience he will be able to make an important contribution for Gigi and the two Andreas in the development of the Desmosedici MotoGP bike. His presence at WDW 2016 will be a special gift for all the Ducati fans and enthusiasts, who will finally have the opportunity to catch up once again with this great champion who brought the 2007 world title to Borgo Panigale and who won numerous GP races with the Desmosedici GP.”