Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MCN MO­TOGP REPORTER

Casey Stoner is a ma­gi­cian on two wheels. At Sepang he jumped on the bike for the first time since he tested at the Red Bull Ring back in July and broke the lap record.

And while that shows just how nat­u­rally tal­ented he is, it also high­lighted how much of a cry­ing shame it is that we’re de­nied the chance to see what would hap­pen if he took to the track against a resur­gent Rossi, Lorenzo on the other side of the garage at Du­cati, and the one rider who he’s never gone head-to-head with – reign­ing champ Marc Mar­quez.

Able to do the thing that he loves best – rid­ing a full-fac­tory GP bike flat-out, while avoid­ing that which he de­tests – deal­ing with the me­dia com­mit­ments of a fac­tory racer – the Aus­tralian re­ally has the best of both worlds with his Du­cati deal.

Which must mean one of the big­gest re­grets his for­mer bosses at Honda have ever had is their re­jec­tion of his of­fer to re­turn as a wild­card for the in­jured Dani Pedrosa in the open­ing days of the 2015 sea­son. Af­ter all, who knows what would have hap­pened had Stoner been bit­ten by the rac­ing bug again?

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