With MotoGP’s summer break halfway done, testing resumes later this week for some of the top names in the sport. Current and former champions take to the track at Brno and Motegi, with Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki all testing a range of material.

The most relevant test for this year’s championship will be held at Brno, where Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will be testing the factory M1s. Lorenzo’s aim will be to test his collarbone, while Rossi continues to work on set up, chasing minor improvements to the major step forward made during the Aragon test.

The Yamaha pair will also hope to be testing Yamaha’s seamless gearbox at the two-day test, the first time that the factory riders will get to try out the new seamless transmission. So far, it has only been tested by Yamaha’s test riders in Japan, working on reliability. Whether the Brno test means that the seamless gearbox will be ready for use later this season remains to be seen.

Over in Japan, Yamaha’s test team, consisting Wataru Yoshikawa and Katsuaki Nakasuga, will be at Motegi, where they will be joined for a private test by Honda’s test team and Suzuki. Motegi sees the temporary return of Casey Stoner to the MotoGP fold, where he will be replacing the injured Kousuke Akiyoshi.

Stoner will be testing Honda’s 2014 RC213V to be used by the factory team, and also continuing work on the production racer Honda is building as a replacement for the CRT bikes. Joining Stoner will be his former crew chief Cristian Gabarrini, an indication of just how seriously HRC are taking this test.

The return of Stoner to testing has spawned a veritable firestorm of rumors that the Australian is about to make a shock return to MotoGP. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo stated when the test was announced that there were no plans for Stoner to race as a wildcard in 2013, though he made no comment on any plans for 2014.

In an interview with GPOne, Gabarrini offers his opinion, that Stoner’s return is only a reflection of his desire to ride the bike, and that he is unlikely to want to return to racing. One of the conditions of the test is that it will be done in private, with no media present, meaning that Stoner can just focus and enjoy riding without enduring the questions of reporters.

Also present at the test will be Randy de Puniet, who will be continuing work on Suzuki’s MotoGP machine. Development is still ongoing on the bike, with Suzuki’s return to the series scheduled for 2015. Development is focused on extracting more performance from the engine and chassis, while waiting to start work with the spec electronics systems.

Speaking to, Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio explained that Suzuki is still using the Mitsubishi electronics at the moment, as Suzuki’s engineers are still working on analyzing the spec Magneti Marelli ECU which all MotoGP bikes must use next year.

The process of porting software from one system to the other is tedious and time-consuming, with existing algorithms having to be reimplemented for an entirely different system, and an analysis made of which algorithms need to be changed to accommodate the differing hardware specs and data inputs between the two systems.

How much news emerges from the tests remains to be seen. While Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will doubtless be quizzed about the test once they arrive at Indianapolis for the Indy round of MotoGP, news of Casey Stoner’s lap times will either have to come from official HRC press releases, or from spies at the test. With three teams present, there are more opportunities for such leaks to occur.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • irksome

    Casey who?

    Golly, so much fuss over a factory test rider!

  • Damn

    Casey Who?

    i’m sure no Casey fan but c’mon Casey who? If you have totaly nothing with him don’t read it and don’t comment on it.

  • JW

    Casey Stoner:

    One of the best talents motogp has ever seen. He left the sport because he did not enjoy what went on when he was off the bike. Meaning all the Dorna BS and negative cruel people and press, er a you. I for one would love to see him take over the 26 spot in 14.

  • mike

    Once Japan had tested I dont understand why it would not be Pedrosa & Marquez who test it.

  • proudAmerican


    Both Pedrosa and Marquez are in the points running for the championship. If either (or both) suffered a debilitating injury during testing, it’d would be catastrophic for Honda. There may be stipulations in their contracts that they won’t participate in testing, for fear of their high dollar sponsors being left high and dry.

    Casey is the original “alien”. He knows Honda bikes and can wring the new bike’s neck like no one else. And, he’s expendable. If he crashes, there’s no threat to Honda’s championship.

  • mike

    thanks that makes sense

  • irksome

    Casey who? Yup; some folks need to develop their sarcasm detectors.

    There’s no denying the man’s talent. But quitting the sport while you’re on a competitive machine because you’re sensitive to put up with bullshit on the job site while the majority of your co-workers wallow in obscurity on inferior equipment? While hundreds of others would give their left nut for just a shot at using the tools you’re given to use a few weekends a year? Pardon me if I don’t mourn his moving on to Aussie Supercars because he had to put up with “insensitive people”.

    The phrase you’re looking for is “Prima Donna”. Cry me a river.

  • MN

    The guy wasn’t happy with “his” career, and decided to move on. Simple. You are not him, so dont try to put the guy because of “his” choices in life.

    I hope he enjoys his short return to the grid and then continues to enjoy the rest of his life, whatever he decides to do with it.

  • TexusTim

    you have to think stoner will love just riding a machine like the rc213v….I hope he comes back..maybe with suzuki maybe honda in 2015.
    who can say what will happen but for sure he’s not totaly out of the picture and his return would be a big deal nearly as big as rossi’s return on the m1 or marquez breaking all the records…it would be good for the sport to have him back.

  • tony

    ooo! isnt this exciting! but i gotta say boys, casey is a massive talent, but the original alien? no sir, that would be valentino rossi. or even more original, gio agosini…

  • tony

    agostini typo sorry!

  • Jimbo

    “Casey Stoner:

    One of the best talents motogp has ever seen. He left the sport because he did not enjoy what went on when he was off the bike. Meaning all the Dorna BS and negative cruel people and press, er a you. I for one would love to see him take over the 26 spot in 14.”


  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    Casey Stoner on the grid this year would have taken an exciting season and multiplied it by 1000.

    If Rossi drove Stoner nuts can you imagine Stoner doing battle with Marquez?…and on the same team as MM?

    Look for Stoner this year at Philip Island as a wildcard. No way he can stay away.

  • JoeD

    I do not know Casey personally and while his apparent persona may not make him a Bud, his riding ability is beyond reproach. There is a difference in riding and hangin’ out. Who knows, one may lead to the other.

  • Norm G.

    wait, since when do these guys test during the holiday…? i’d be like screw that, i’m gettin’ laid, see you in indy.

  • L2C

    Many people who are good at what they do have careers that they hate. The vast majority continue on in their soul-sucking ventures because they don’t have the guts to call it quits and move forward. And so they grow old and miserable and contaminate every person around them with their resentment and regret.

    Casey Stoner is not one of those people.