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Casey Stoner to make racing comeback in Suzuka 8hr

'It's always been an event I wanted to do'

HONDA Racing Corporation has announced that Casey Stoner will be returning to racing for this year's Suzuka 8Hour.

The two-time former MotoGP world champion retired in 2012 and has since been testing for the HRC team. Now he will form part of Honda's MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO three-man team at the 2015 Suzuka 8Hr in July. 

Stoner recently renewed his testing contract with HRC and rode the Suzuka CBR1000RR, with nothing negative to report to Honda engineers. 

The 29-year-old Australian said: 'After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, I’ve been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka.

'It’s always been an event I wanted to do and something I was never able to consider when I was racing in MotoGP, due to our busy schedules, so I’m really looking forward to taking part.

'The bike is very different to a MotoGP machine, but it will be a new challenge and a chance for me to try something new and unlike what I’ve been used to in my racing to this point.'

Stoner will race in the Suzuka 8Hr alongside Honda's World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark, as well former GP racer Takumi Takahashi, who currently competes in the MFJ All Japan Road Race JSB1000 championship. They hope to achieve Honda's sixth consecutive win in the prestigious endurance event. 

'I’ve been impressed with Michael van der Mark this season and Takumi Takahashi has a lot of experience on this machine,' said Stoner.

'I’m looking forward to hearing their comments and working together with them in preparation for the July race. Now I need to concentrate on my training to be ready for the race.'

Stoner is now preparing for tests of the CBR1000RR throughout July. 

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