Exclusive: Casey Stoner Signs With Repsol Honda

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Casey Stoner

Casey-Stoner-Honda-Repsol.jpgAn inside source has exclusively revealed to RideApart that a deal between Casey Stoner and the Repsol Honda MotoGP team will be officially announced later today. The move will leave a seat open for Rossi at Ducati. Stoner’s two-year contract with Honda will see him racing alongside Dani Pedrosa. Part of Repsol’s sponsorship package dictates that at least one of the team’s seats is filled by a Spaniard. It’s not currently clear what this means for Andrea Dovizioso, who’s Italian. Hopefully the official announcement will clear that up.

Update: the source says the deal is done but the announcement may have been delayed for political reasons, stay tuned.

  • prich

    Exclusive! Nice work guys. HFL is toppling the motorcycle news regime.

    And F. Stoner. Crybaby.

  • redrider

    Good. Next year we will see Ben spies in a real factory bike!!
    (wonder what Hayden will do, trying to follow Rossi… or heading to WSBK?!)

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Goddamn Wes! You know people that know things!

    I was thinking about this move this weekend. It would be very costly for Honda to field 3 riders next year, so Dovi has to go. That is a shame, but Honda is all about the maths.

  • kat

    casey and dani as teammates should be interesting. from what i understand, they don’t get along at all. and i agree, that sucks for dovizioso, as he’s riding really well this year. though i’d also like to see RdP get a factory ride….

  • http://twitter.com/beastincarnate Ben

    Hopefully, they can dig the sand out of his…

    Anyways, good scoop, Wes.

  • sburns2421

    There have been three factory HRC bikes in the past. Elias had the other one in 2008 if I am not mistaken. So Dovizioso might not be left completely out in the cold on a private team with a factory bike. At any rate, with the 800s now a lame duck machine I wonder how much it will be developed over the next 12 months.

    Everyone assumes Stoner->Honda, Rossi->Ducati, and finally Spies->Fiat Yamaha. The first two will probably happen, but I’m not convinced the last one is a certainty. If someone like Dovizioso is available Yamaha could hire him for the factory seat. Yamaha already has Spies under contract for 2011, so he has little leverage other than threat of leaving in 2012.

  • Sean Smith

    Nice. Maybe we’ll see Stoner return to form next year on a bike that works.

    • Ninjah

      Yeah, because the 800cc Ducati bike isn’t capable of winning? C’mon – it wasn’t long ago that Casey was having his physical/mental problems and now he has become a regular front-runner again. The bike doesn’t factor.

      • Sean Smith

        Both factory Ducatis have been having some seriously weird front end grip issues since the move to a carbon frame. Casey was winning on a different bike; last years bike had a steel trellis frame and a screamer motor. This year it’s a totally different machine. Yeah, some of it’s probably in his head, but it must really suck to have ducati screw you out of a winning bike because the slower guys cant handle it.

        • sburns2421

          The Ducati also had a carbon fiber frame last year. Stoner dominated once he returned from his mid-season vacation. Won three in a row once back on the grid, IIRC.

          IMO it looks more like Ducati is having trouble matching the bike to the 2010 Bridgestones. Bad thing is that with a control tire, you cannot just pull out last year’s bike or 2008 steel frame because those bikes are not matched to the tire either.

        • Ninjah

          That’s a fair point – but whether Stoner is on the Ducati or Honda, he’ll still have the same job ahead of him: learning how to win on a machine that’s fully capable of it.

        • GeddyT

          You’re a little off. The GP9 was the first season for the carbon fiber chassis. So you have to go back to 2008 to get to the steel trellis. Also, it was in ’09 that they started experimenting with the carbon swingarm. They found it worked at some tracks and not at others, so now they switch back and forth.

          Primary differences to the bike are the firing order (big bang) and a new fork from Ohlins. The firing order helps with stability in the turns at the expense of outright power (why the Honda is killing it down the straights at the moment), and the new fork (same one most of the rest of the field switched to as well) allows the bike to operate higher in the stroke and is thicker and stiffer to aid in braking stability.

          I think this was the problem. The carbon chassis is so stiff that adding a super stiff fork meant too little flex in the front end when leaned over. So the riders weren’t getting the feedback from the front end that they needed. Stoner has since switched back to last year’s fork, meaning he’s essentially on the same bike with a big bang motor and a stiffer seat/swingarm attachment point.

  • gregorbean
  • georGe aka-VintageWrencher

    Cant remember where I read it but it’s my understanding Dovi has a performance clause in his contract that could keep him from getting the axe at HRC if he finish’s well this season.

  • shinigami

    Hopefully there will be an “announcement today” (July 7) or HFL will look silly. It’s already 7 PM in London, 8 in Geneva.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      It’s coming, just gotta shake loose from the official channels.

  • Si

    There was talk on MCN about Honda’s contracts with Dani and Dovi. It stated that they both can automatic renew their contracts if they position above 3rd and 5th, respectively, in the championship. The article also stated that Redbull and Repsol may both share the sponsorship burden to finance the three man team.

  • Isaac

    Dovi just came from 250′s 2 years ago. They may just stick him in the Moto2 like what was done to Elias. Dovi has really made some leaps and bounds over last year. Then again he is on a factory bike now rather than the J-Scot bike he was on in ’08. I hope that Ben get’s the FIAT seat if Valentino signs with Ducati for his twilight tour.
    After think about what Si said above me, I don’t think it would be farfetched to see a Red Bull / HRC bike out there. It will still be a factory machine under the guise of non-factory sponsors.

  • emd

    Did you notice how your site was quoted?

    ‘Hell, I’m Leathered’

    http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-racing-news-moto-gp/stoner-to-repsol-honda-announcement-expected-today/12548.html

    Wow, they sure butchered that one and at the same time made it about as gay as possible.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      [comment removed]

      • Peter

        Is the Kevin Ash reference a ribbing too?

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Yeah, they think I’m obsessed with Kev because I called him “England’s premier motorcycle reviewer” or something.

          • Grant Ray

            He has posters of Kevin in his bedroom. I’ve seen them.

            • Alfonzo

              lol!

  • shinigami

    This is why it’s important to leave yourself wiggle room when writing an anticipatory headline. “imminent” leaves you an out, “Today” is a closed-ended commitment.

    Remember, it’s more important to get it right, than get it first.

    (my Peabody-award winning hat off now.)

  • swami

    I’m pretty sure Dovi will be the odd man out. PeePee can win wet or dry depending what time of the month it is. I think he and Stoner give Honda the best chance against Jorge. Also I think Simoncelli’s contract is with HRC, a move made to keep him out of Yamaha’s clutches. If Yamaha would have signed him he’d be paired with Ben right now and Colin would be riding Superbikes. Ben will get Rossi’s bike, whether it’s with Fiat sponsorship or not remains to be seen.

  • http://damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    One of the motogp commentators (Gavin?) said there was talk of a three bike Honda team with Dovi on a Redbull livery and Stoner and Pedrosa rocking the Repsol.

  • shinigami

    Day two and still no announcement.

  • Johnny be god

    Good post from GeddyT,but i thought the Ducati had the carbon chassis since 2007.i think if Stoner will go to Honda it’s for a number1 rider seat,not to be number2.

  • jima

    Ducati have just announced he’s leaving but no mention of where to
    http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2010/casey+stoner+and+ducati+corse+part+ways