Retired world champion Casey Stoner has today announced he will return to the Italian factory with which he saw so much success as their 2016 test rider and brand ambassador.
Stoner secured his first world championship with Ducati and spent four seasons in red before making a shock switch to Japanese rival Honda in 2011.
Rumours surfaced at the final round of the season in Valencia that the Australian could be back with the factory that brought him so much success, however it was finally announced this week.
Hoping to assist factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone as much as he can, Stoner may also have the opportunity to wild card next season.
The 30 year old is looking forward to the challenge ahead: “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.”
“Stoner has always remained in the hearts of all the Ducatisti, explains the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding Claudio Domenicali “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.”
Anyone else fancy a trip out to Philip Island next season?