MotoGP’s ‘open secret’ has been confirmed, Casey Stoner will leave Ducati at the end of this season to join Repsol Honda in 2011. Statements below:
“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.”
“I must thank Ducati for giving me such a great opportunity to race and win with them over these past four years” commented Casey Stoner. “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.”
Repsol Honda’s Statement and press release:
HRC is delighted to announce that Casey Stoner will become a factory Honda rider in next year’s MotoGP World Championship. The Australian 2007 World Champion, who rode in the Honda LCR Team in his debut MotoGP season in 2006, will rejoin Honda after four seasons with Ducati. Honda’s complete factory team line-up for 2011 will be officially presented later in the season.
HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto said:
“We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year. 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.”
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