Stoner appointed Ducati test rider

Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:20pm EST
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(Reuters) - Retired twice MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will be a test rider for Ducati next season, the Italian manufacturer said on Monday.

The Australian, who left the sport at the end of 2012, won his first MotoGP title with Ducati in 2007 before moving to Honda and taking his second in 2011. Ducati have not won a grand prix since he left.

Stoner returned to racing with Honda in this year's Suzuka eight hours endurance race but crashed when his bike's throttle jammed.

There has been speculation that the 30-year-old, who has also tested for Honda, could make a MotoGP return with Ducati as a wild card but neither the manufacturer nor rider alluded to that on Monday.

"I have so many great memories working with the people and the brand of Ducati and the opportunity to work with them again is something very special," said Stoner in a statement announcing his new role.

"I'm looking forward to assisting the team, (riders) Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone however I can."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

Former Honda MotoGP rider Casey Stoner (L) of Australia is pictured in the Honda MotoGP team garage during the first practice session for the Australian MotoGP on Phillip Island, October 17, 2014.     REUTERS/Jason Reed