Suzuka: stuck throttle caused Stoner crash

Honda confirms stuck throttle thwarts Stoner comeback

CASEY Stoner's return to competitive racing ended in a broken shoulder and fractured leg when the throttle stuck open on his Fireblade at the Suzuka 8 Hours.

Honda confirmed the crash was caused by a throttle stuck open at 26 degrees as Stoner approached the hairpin.

The former MotoGP Champion was leading the race when he took to the grass at high speed and lost the front end sending his bike somersaulting before eventually coming to rest on the track.

The Suzuka 8 Hours race is given huge significance by the Japanese factories and the technical error will be a huge disappointment for Honda, particularly since arch-rivals Yamaha took victory led home by British rider Bradley Smith.

The sorry remains of Stoner's Honda are being sent to Honda Racing Corporation's headquarters for a thorough autopsy while Stoner is left to lick his wounds and wonder what might have been on his first top-level bike race since Valencia 2012.

The Australian rider thanked his leathers, helmet, boots and back protector for sparing him what could have been a much nastier injury. He also sportingly congratulated Yamaha and its riders on the win.

Stoner's teammate World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark said: 'Not what we wanted today. But all I can say is that Casey Stoner did a great job and it was a pleasure to work with you! Get well soon!'