Casey Stoner Joins Ducati Once More, but This Time as Test Rider and Brand Ambassador

Casey Stoner riding a Ducati MotoGP bike 3 photos
Photo: Ducati
Casey StonerCasey Stoner
Despite all the skepticism of many motorsport enthusiasts, Stoner is the new brand ambassador and MotoGP test rider for Ducati. The move was announced after HRC's latest press release, and we are already trying to guess what impact having #27 at Ducati Corse will have on the 2016 series.
We reported yesterday about Honda Racing Corporation bidding farewell to Casey Stoner, announcing that the Japanese company and the Australian would part ways. We sort of knew that the Aussie had exceptional odds of actually joining the Ducati camp, but expected the official announcement.

The news broke later in the evening, when Ducati Corse issued a press release that announced the MotoGP Legend as their newest team member. Stoner, 30, won the MotoGP World Championship twice, in 2007 with Ducati and in 2011 with Repsol Honda. He is considered to be one of the fastest and most talented MotoGP riders in the world, despite his rather short career in the premier class.

The one rider that could understand Ducati GP bikes better than the rest

Stoner's almost mystical aura comes from the fact that he was the only rider who seemed capable to put the Ducati Desmosedici's potential to proper use on the track. The Australian rider actually won races and a championship, while others seemed to struggle endlessly with the bike.

Even after Stoner left Ducati, the ones replacing him were unable to match his riding style, let alone replicate his success. Among those who failed to achieve glory for Ducati was even the 9-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who left the Italian team after two years of fruitless struggles.

Gigi Dall'Igna was brought over at Ducati from Aprilia and was given a free hand to build a new MotoGP bike. The new machine he put on the grid in 2015 was a dramatic improvement over the GP14 motorcycle, and Ducati was once more present on the podium, with even better perspectives now that Stoner's feedback is at hand.

To what extent Casey Stoner's new job as a test rider will improve the GP16 prototype is yet to be found out soon. However, one thing is certain: Stoner is a very valuable asset for Ducati and he could make a noticeable difference as to how the new bikes will be. Something tells us that the second half of the 2016 season might bring in a "Stonerized" GP16.2 machine...

Until then, make sure you book your tickets for the 2016 edition of World Ducati Week, scheduled to run from July 1-3, as Stoner was confirmed to be present at the major Ducati event.

Casey Stoner:
"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. For 2016 I am very excited to announce that I will again be joining the Ducati team! 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."

Claudio Domenicali (CEO Ducati Motor Holding):
"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. 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. His presence at WDW 2016 will be a special gift for all the Ducati fans and enthusiasts, who will finally have the opportunity to catch up once again with this great champion who brought the 2007 world title to Borgo Panigale and who won numerous GP races with the Desmosedici GP."
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