Casey Stoner returns to Ducati MotoGP team in test rider role

Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner will return to Ducati next year as a test rider, following his split with Honda

Casey Stoner returns to Ducati MotoGP team in test rider role

Since retiring from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, Stoner - who won one title each with Ducati and Honda - was retained as a test rider by the Japanese manufacturer.

On Monday afternoon, Honda announced it was parting company with the Australian at the end of the year, and Ducati wasted little time - half an hour - before confirming Stoner's appointment.

"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," Stoner said.

"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, who won 23 grands prix for Ducati between 2007-'10, will "take part in a selected number of MotoGP tests" for the brand next year, while the potential for a race return through wildcard appearances has also been mooted.

"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," Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said.

"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."

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Honda to part ways with two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner
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