MotoGP: Silly Season Begins to Settle, as Stoner Moves to Honda for 2011

What Happens When the Impossible Is True

9:12am EST — Honda announced Friday that Casey Stoner would be racing for their Repsol Honda team for at least 2011.  The press release stated that, “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.”

In, perhaps, more fascinating news, HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto was quoted in the press release, indicating that Honda hopes to field a three-rider factory team for 2011, “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.”  This actually goes hand in hand with comments from Stoner recently that suggest that he favors (which might be language not strong enough to describe his manner of speech) factory teams with three riders, if only to fill out the admittedly short MotoGP field.  This leaves a spot open at Ducati for the ever-rumored move from Fiat Yamaha to the Italian team for currently recovering Valentino Rossi.  Rossi tested a Yamaha superbike Wednesday at Misano, feeling pain and lapping a second and a half slower than the fastest lap of the WSBK race there this season, though he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg at Mugello just one month ago.


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