Casey Stoner returns to racing in 2015 Suzuka 8hr
Honda Racing Corporation have announced Casey StonerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s return to competition racing. The two-time MotoGP Champion (2007 and 2011) will form part of HondaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO three person team at this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Suzuka 8hr race, taking place on Sunday 26th July.
Casey, together with HondaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark and MFJ All Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship and HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi, will be looking to clinch HondaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sixth consecutive win in the prestigious endurance event which runs for eight hours consecutively where entrants (composed of two or more riders) alternate during pit stops.
Having recently renewed his testing contract with HRC, Casey tested the Suzuka CBR1000RR machine during JanuaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sepang test, reporting positively on the machine to Honda engineers.
Casey will have further opportunities to test the Honda machine on the 7th/8th and 14th/15th July.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been used to in my racing to this point. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been impressed with Michael van der Mark this season and Takumi Takahashi has a lot of experience on this machine, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Shuhei Nakamoto Ã¢â‚¬â€œ HRC Executive Vice President:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are very happy that Casey agreed to take part in the 8hr with Honda. It will be great to see him back on a bike in a racing environment and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure he will enjoy it. Together with van der Mark and Takahashi they form a strong team to compete in this endurance race Ã¢â‚¬â€œ IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m excited to see how they will do.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Shigeki Honda Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Principal MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This year, MuSASHi Racing Team HARC-PRO is aiming to win the Suzuka 8hr for the third consecutive year. In addition to our riders, Michael van der Mark and Takumi Takahashi, who together have celebrated the past two victories , we are very happy to invite the legendary Casey Stoner to join our team. Casey has an enjoyed an incredible career and achieved a huge amount of success. We believe that with his fantastic experience, coupled with our teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s know how after many years of involvement at this event, we can make our dreams come true.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Source: Honda Racing Corporation