Honda signs Stoner
12th Jul 2010 7:00 am
Honda signs Stoner for 2011.
Honda has officially confirmed that Casey Stoner will join its MotoGP line-up for 2011. The move had been rumoured since former Ducati boss Livio Suppo moved to Honda last autumn, and Stoner has now followed him, with the announcement of his Honda signing coming shortly after Ducati revealed he was leaving the team.
Honda did not reveal how long Stoner's deal is for, and said it would not announce its full 2011 squad until later this year. But team boss Shuhei Nakamoto did suggest he was keen to retain current riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, amid rumours of a three-bike factory programme next season.
"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," said Nakamoto.
"HRC hopes also to retain these two riders for next year - giving us what would be a truly formidable line-up."
Stoner started his MotoGP career with satellite Honda team LCR in 2006, before leaving for Ducati at the end of the year and winning the 2007 world championship.
Although it is losing Stoner, Ducati is now widely expected to sign Valentino Rossi from Yamaha in his place, with Tech 3 rider and Superbike champion Ben Spies favourite to step into Rossi's vacant seat if the deal goes ahead.