Honda confirms Casey Stoner will race for the HRC factory team next season. The biggest surprise is that they also state they hope to retain Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizio in a three man factory HRC team. Official words from Honda and Ducati after the jump. Oh, and we told you so!
HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto said:
"We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year. Clearly
he is one of the top riders in MotoGP and he will bring valuable speed
and experience to our team. In the factory Honda squad we already have
two very strong and experienced riders in Dani Pedrosa and Andrea
Dovizioso who are performing very well and currently hold second and
third positions in the 2010 World Championship. HRC hopes also to retain
these two riders for next year - giving us what would be a truly
Ducati press release:
Ducati and Stoner to part company at the end of 2010 after four fantastic years together
The Valencia Grand Prix on November 7th 2010 will be the event that concludes four years of extraordinary collaboration between Ducati and Casey Stoner. An important relationship characterized by a strong reciprocal esteem and many victories, among which the first MotoGP World Title for both the Italian manufacturer and the Australian rider.
Stoner arrived in Ducati in 2007 and, riding the Desmosedici GP7 that was making its debut in the new 800cc category, he took his first victory in the very first race, embarking on a path that would lead to the world title later in that same year and many more successes during subsequent seasons.
Ducati would like to thank Casey Stoner, who has decided to undertake a new challenge, with gratitude and affection that will always remain
"I would like to thank Casey on behalf of our fans and our sponsors, but
most of all on behalf of all the people working at Ducati," commented
Filippo Preziosi, Ducati Corse General Director. "The victories and
emotions he gave us, rewarded all the hard work and sacrifice we made.
In these four years together we have had a lot of great moments.
Securing the 2007 MotoGP World Championship title and the victory at
Mugello in 2009 were moments that we will never forget. In Casey we not
only found an incredibly talented rider, but also an honest and loyal
guy and that's why there will always be a strong and sincere bond
between us, even as a competitor."
"I must thank Ducati for giving me such a great opportunity to race and
win with them over these past four years" commented Casey Stoner. "They
took a gamble when they signed me at the end of 2006 as I was unknown,
but as we worked together we were able to win a Championship, many races
and challenge for the Championship in the last two seasons. I have now
decided to move on and I will have new challenges in the future and
different obstacles to overcome, but I will not forget these years with
Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work so closely with.
So a big thanks to Ducati and all our sponsors who we have shared
success with while achieving lifelong goals"