As silly season continues, rumors continue to persist that Casey Stoner has signed a deal with HRC. It was first reported by Italian news station Sportmediaset, and given it’s appropriate grain of salt, but now the German-language publication Speedweek is announcing the deal as well, and even claiming a contract price of €5 million to see the former World Champion ride a Honda in 2011.
This news from Speedweek adds some validity to the rumor, which seems to be catching momentum in the paddock. Not too long ago we even heard musings in the Ducati camp that Stoner had already checked-out mentally on riding with the Italian team.
While an announcement at Silverstone this weekend would likely be too early in the season, Honda is expected to make the first move in making bids on the top four riders in the paddock: Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner, and Pedrosa, so anything could happen.
No news has developed on who Stoner would replace in the Repsol Honda garage, but the “dream team” combo of Pedrosa and Stoner is not out of the realm of possibilities.
Stoner’s impetus for leaving Ducati is presumably centered around the way he was treated during his mysterious illness last season, which has allegedly put a strain on his relation with the team and its sponsors. More as we get it race fans.