Stoner suprised himself with MotoGP return

Stoner suprised himself with MotoGP return

Two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner says he surprised himself with how easily he got back up to speed during testing for Ducati.

The Australian, who retired at the end of the 2012 season, returned to the track for a private test last Saturday before joining the rest of the field at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He finished ninth overall, but was fifth fastest on the final day – just 1.49secs behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

“All in all it’s been a very good few days for us, and I’m surprised myself that I was able to do three days of testing,” Stoner said.

“It’s been a really positive test, not only because we worked well with the bike, but also because I was able to get back up to speed right away.

“Physically I feel great at the moment, but I’m sure I won’t tomorrow.”

Stoner insists he has no intention to return to competitive racing, preferring to be trackside.

The 30-year-old has signed on as Ducati’s official test rider for 2016, having spent the previous few years testing for Honda.

He won his first MotoGP world title in 2007 with Ducati, and second with Honda in 2011.

The next official test is on February 17 at Phillip Island, although Ducati have said Stoner will not take part.

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