Ducati not planning wildcard MotoGP races for Casey Stoner yet

Casey Stoner says there is currently no plan for him to make MotoGP wildcard appearances with Ducati this year, and has ruled out a full-time return to competition

Ducati not planning wildcard MotoGP races for Casey Stoner yet

The Australian returns to Ducati, with which he won the 2007 MotoGP title, this season after spending three years as a Honda test rider following his race retirement.

While his role officially covers a "selected number of MotoGP tests", Stoner has also been linked to wildcard appearances during the 2016 season, with world champion Jorge Lorenzo "sure" that will materialise.

Now 30, Stoner says testing is his immediate priority but did not rule out a race return.

"There is no plan at the moment," he told Motosprint, when asked about 2016 wildcard appearances.

"I'm perfectly aware that if I wanted to race, Ducati would put everything at my disposal immediately, but for now we have only defined a test plan.

"Before going beyond that, I want to see how testing goes. At that point we'll decide."

Ducati has not won a race since Stoner's victory in his home grand prix in 2010, and he will get his first taste of its '16 MotoGP bike later this month.

"I have a task that also becomes an objective," he said of his role.

"I want to work well with [Ducati general manager] Gigi dall'Igna, so I want to help engineers and riders while we work on the new bike's development programme.

"My objective is to make a contribution to the cause, to make Ducati win races again."

FULL-TIME RETURN OFF THE TABLE

Stoner says he has "no regrets" about retiring from MotoGP aged just 27 and believes he could still race at the front of the field.

However, beyond any isolated wildcard appearances, that is not on the agenda.

"It's not going to happen," he said.

"I say it with certainty: I won't return to race regularly.

"When you decide to go racing at that level, you must always push at the limit and therefore risk everything all the time.

"Once you manage to get out of the bubble that surrounds MotoGP, you realise how much importance people give to that small world of racing.

"But for me there are things more important. For me the life I have now, with my family, counts more."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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