Stoner hoping to return before Australia
19 September 2012 – Casey Stoner is pushing to ensure he can return to MotoGP before his home race at Phillip Island. The reigning World Champion, retiring from the sport at the end of the current season, remains on the sidelines following the operation for his ankle.
Not since 2006 - when Marco Melandri won - has any rider other than Stoner celebrated victory at Phillip Island, be it on a Ducati or a Honda. He had originally targeted that race for a comeback, but is now attempting to reappear earlier.
“We had a fantastic surgeon,” Stoner told Australia’s Channel Seven. “He’s done a great job with very small scars, so healing time’s going to be minimal, but unfortunately we’ve really got to keep some weight off it and try and let it heel.”
When asked about Phillip Island, the 26-year-old replied:
“I think it’s going to be tough to make it six in a row, but we’ll definitely be there - even if they have to duck-tape me to the bike. I’ll definitely be lining up for that one. I’m hoping to get back for a couple before that, but we’ll se how things go and cross the fingers we can be back there.”
Regarding his possible debut in V8 Supercars next year, Stoner admitted that trying his hand at the series has long since been an ambition.
“It’s been a long time dream of mine,” he continued. “Just recently I’ve shown more interest. It’s been around since I’ve been 12 or 14 years old. I’ve had a huge passion for V8s. I have to be realistic whether I’ll be quick enough or not to be competitive, but it’s something I’d like to give a go and I’ll definitely be around the paddock.”
Currently subbing for Stoner at Repsol Honda is Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea, who is confirmed up to and including next weekend’s round in Aragón.