Casey Stoner: Marquez Felt Threatened by My Presence

MotoGP Legend Casey Stoner has been talking to Motosprint about his days as a Honda test rider, but if you expect nice words and political correctness, you're wrong. In fact, the Aussie sounds more like himself than ever; he has never been a fan of the machinations around the MotoGP paddock and was as straightforward as it gets. He's not changed.
Casey Stoner 1 photo
For starters, Stoner says that he holds no grudge against Honda, and that he is still in good relations with Shuhei Nakamoto. Even more, Stoner believes that he can still find a lot of points where he and Nakamoto-san would agree entirely.

Stoner is not shying away from saying that he strongly believes that Marc Marquez and his entourage perceived Stoner's presence in the HRC paddocks as a "menacing" one. "I think Marquez and his entire entourage felt threatened by my presence. I do not know why they thought, but that's my feeling," Stoner adds.

He admits that he doesn't know the reasons for such a tense atmosphere, especially considering that he was only seldom testing for Honda. "At Honda I was just an occasional tester, I had no other role, and, truth be told, they never made the most of my potential. I was for Honda to experiment, to try new things that could then be transferred to the riders, so I was there to help Marc," Stoner carries on, as quoted by motorionline.

"Other people must have put pressure on him (Nakamoto, red.) not to have me racing at Austin"

Stoner's relationship with the HRC Vice President seems to be holding on despite all the weird things that happened back in 2015. The Australian says he felt ready and fit to take Pedrosa's place, substituting for the injured Spaniard at Austin.

He also mentions that during the Sepang tests, his times were very close to those of the race, a pace that was good enough to make him keep up with the leading pilots. And the fact that Pedrosa would later win the Sepang round also played in favor of Stoner.

With all he had done for Honda, including winning the world title in his first year with Repsol and ending a modest period for the house of Tokyo, Stoner says he believed that he was a very precious asset for Honda.

It turned out that Honda was not that fond of having Stoner replacing Pedrosa at Austin, but the Australian believes that only the corporate pressure against Nakamoto led to the denial of his request. "I thought to be invaluable for Honda, and I proved. When I arrived in 2011, I won the title immediately, and Honda had not been at the top for several years. I felt ready to Austin. Nakamoto told me he was sorry, but he had taken a different solution. This makes me think that other people must have put pressure on him not to have me racing. Someone did not want to see me in the race," he concludes.

Unlike his occasional outings at Honda, Casey Stoner will do a lot of testing and development for Ducati, alongside Michele Pirro. Even though Bologna has said that he will make no wildcard appearances this year, we're not buying this, at least not until the championship is through.
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