Casey Stoner will be back at Ducati.

CASEY Stoner will rejoin Ducati as a brand ambassador and test rider for 2016 but has put the brakes on speculation that the deal signals a comeback to MotoGP.

Ducati has swooped to regain the services of Stoner as the double world champion ends his five year association with HRC Honda.

Stoner remains the only rider to have won a MotoGP world championship for Ducati with his 2007 title.

Despite the switch both Stoner and Ducati have said there is “no interest” in a comeback to the MotoGP championship.

Ducati is planning to tap into Stoner’s sublime talent and astute racing brain to further develop their new Desmosedici bike.

“Ducati fans have Casey in their hearts as a hero so this is a special gift to have him back,” said Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.

“But Casey has made it very clear that he doesn’t like the idea of racing full time and the tension of the paddock.

“No one should count on Casey being a full time rider. But his extraordinary talent will be an important contribution in developing the bike.”

Stoner, 30, made a surprise early retirement from MotoGP at the end of 2012 after a short but stellar career that produced two world championships.

The first came with Ducati in 2007 and despite his switch to Honda and a second world title in 2011 Stoner has remained a hero in eyes of the fanatic “Ducatisti.”

Ducati has confirmed their two factory riders for 2016 will be Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

“It’s been a great journey with HRC and the world championship in 2011 was obviously a high point,” Stoner said.

“But I have so many great memories working with Ducati, they are a big part of my career and the opportunity to work with them again is something very special.

“I’m looking forward to assisting the team and Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone however I can.”

In April this year Honda rejected an offer from Stoner to stand-in for the injured Dani Pedrosa in a one-off appearance at the Texas Grand Prix.

Ducati has so far announced no plans to provide a one-off wildcard for Stoner next year.

Stoner’s offer to stand-in for injured Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa at the Texas GP in April was rejected by Honda.

And Stoner’s one-off appearance with HRC at the Suzuka 8 Hours in July ended with a frightening crash with Stoner suffering ankle and shoulder injuries when the throttle stuck open on his Honda Fireblade.


By Adam