Breaking News: Casey Stoner Returns to Racing in 2015 Suzuka 8 Hour

We reported about Casey Stoner’s possible return to motorcycle racing earlier, but now Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) throws in the official confirmation. Casey Stoner WILL be racing as part of the official endurance MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO team at Suzuka.
Casey Stoner Returns to Racing in 2015 Suzuka 8 Hour 4 photos
Photo: HRC
Casey Stoner will race in the Suzuka 8 HourCasey StonerCasey Stoner testing Honda machinery
The outfit will line up three riders, with Casey Stoner being team mate with Takumi Takahashi, who is a MFJ All Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship racer and HRC test rider, and Michael van der Mark, World Superbike rider for Honda. It’s still a long time until the 26th of July when Endurance World Championship action will reach Suzuka, and Stoner has all the time and opportunities he needs to get familiar with the liter-class machine.

Stoner already tested the Suzuka CBR1000RR bike at Sepang

As we told you earlier, Casey Stoner has already been in contact with the endurance version of the Honda CBR1000RR, as this bike was also present in the Sepang test in January. Stoner offered valuable feedback to Honda engineers and liked the way the machine behaved. Still, he has two more occasions to get to know the bike better. Future HRC tests will take place on 7-8 and 14-15 July.

Honda will try to clinch the sixth win in the prestigious Japanese endurance event. How will Casey Stoner react to the multiple stints of an 8-hour race is still a matter of mystery but we know that he is looking forward to this, as it looks like endurance riding was one of the sports he wanted to get involved with but was unable to because of the busy MotoGP schedule.

Casey Stoner:
After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, I’ve been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka. It’s always been an event I wanted to do and something I was never able to consider when I was racing in MotoGP, due to our busy schedules, so I’m really looking forward to taking part!

The bike is very different to a MotoGP machine, but it will be a new challenge and a chance for me to try something new and unlike what I’ve been used to in my racing to this point. I’ve been impressed with Michael van der Mark this season and Takumi Takahashi has a lot of experience on this machine, so I’m looking forward to hearing their comments and working together with them in preparation for the July race. Now I need to concentrate on my training to be ready for the race!

Michael van der Mark:
The Suzuka 8 Hour race is such a special event for all the fans and the Japanese people and not many riders get the chance to take part, even though many would like to. I also know what an important event it is for Honda so it’s a great honor for me to be asked to race the CBR1000RR once more, and this time with Casey as our teammate! The testing and race schedule is quite tough to combine with the World Superbike Championship but I really enjoy riding at Suzuka so I’m very happy to make time for it. The bike is very different to my World Superbike CBR but it’s easy to ride so it’s not big problem to change. I’ve had two fantastic years with a great team and it would be really nice and something quite special to get a hat-trick of wins.

Takumi Takahashi:
The Suzuka 8hr this year means a lot to me and my team since our goal is to win for a third consecutive year, and I’m even more excited to take part together with Casey. Nonetheless, we know our rivals are all set to beat us, so I know it will not be easy to accomplish this goal. I will try to get the best out of the remaining few tests so that we will be able to run the 8hr race as fast as possible without any mistakes. We guarantee to demonstrate our extreme professionalism and excitement to those who will come to Suzuka to support us!
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