For the first time since the final race of the 2012 season Casey Stoner was back on a MotoGP bike – testing the 2013 Honda at the Motegi circuit in Japan alongside test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Wataru Yoshikawa and Randy De Puniet for Suzuki.
Starting out, according to those at the track, with the 2012 forks and shocks in place, the former two-time world champion is also due to try out the new 2014 prototype machine, but has for the time being been held up by the wet weather.
Stoner had the following to say on his return;
“It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps! We only managed to get one run in before the rain arrived which was a little disappointing. It was really nice to get that first run, it’s been nine months since I’ve been on a bike and it’s going to take me some time to get used to everything again! The bike and the track felt good and I hope that we can get some better testing in tomorrow with some dry track time and run some more laps.”
The development of next year’s Honda factory bike and production racer is due to continue at the private test tomorrow, weather permitting.