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Stoner hints at Japanese comeback

Stoner hints at Japanese comeback

Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner, currently side-lined after undergoing an operation on his right ankle, told Australian Channel Seven at the Sandown 500 V8 Supercars race near Melbourne that he is expecting to be back racing MotoGP when the grid descends on Japan mid October.

Channel Seven reporter Neil Crompton spoke with Stoner, who at the Sandown Raceway for round 10 of the V8 Supercars Championship, firstly about his on-going recuperation from his recent surgery: "[The ligaments are healing] As well as they can be. We had a fantastic surgeon, he’s done a great job with very small scars, so healing time’s going to be minimal, but unfortunately with what I’ve done we’ve really got to keep some weight off it and try and let it heel before I get back on a bike."

When asked whether he will make it back in time to contest his home race in Phillip Island, where Stoner has been unbeatable in the last five years, he said: "I think it’s going to be tough to make it six in a row, but we’ll definitely be there, even if they have to duck-tape me to the bike. I’ll definitely be lining up for that one. I’m hoping to get back for a couple before that, but we’ll se how things go and cross the fingers we can be back there."

He then went on to answer the million-dollar question as to whether he would be contesting the V8 Supercar Championship any time soon: "I’m hoping to; it’s been a long time dream of mine. Just recently I’ve shown more interest. It’s been around since I’ve been 12 or 14 years old. I’ve had a huge passion for V8s. I have to be realistic whether I’ll be quick enough or not to be competitive, but it’s something I’d like to give a go, and I’ll definitely be around the paddock."

Speaking about his decision to retire from MotoGP™ at a relatively young age he added: "It’s disappointing for me as well. We’ve put so many years of hard work in to get there, but for me it was the right time to leave. I’m loosing a lot of passion for the sport at the moment, so for me it was important to get out while I still enjoy motorcycling and racing in general."

Stoner may remain tight-lipped on his direct future after MotoGP, though gave a strong indication his switch to V8s may happen soon: "In the not too distant future I could be here, you never know."

In addition, Stoner posted the following comment on his Repsol blog: “Hi everyone. Not a whole lot to report this week I'm afraid. I had a check up with the doctor last Thursday and he was happy with my recovery but we will know more in a couple of weeks, so no confirmed return date yet but I'm hoping for Japan. I travelled down to Sandown for the V8's this past weekend. It was so good to get out and about again and the team did a great job taking 1st and 3rd! Now I'm back home taking it easy and resting waiting to see the doctor again. I watched the MotoGP race in Misano, it was strange to watch it on TV but I guess it's good practice for next year for me! I was sorry to see Dani have such issues at the beginning and then taken out. It was really bad luck. I hope to have more news next week and thanks for all your kind messages.”

MotoGP, 2012

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