Stoner to stick with four wheels

Suddenly, two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner has a taste for motorcycles again.

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But he insists he will remain on four wheels this year in the V8 Supercars’ second-tier category.

Stoner has relished a chance to jump back on the bike this week, successfully completing a two-day test in Japan with his former MotoGP team Honda.

Stoner has also agreed to further testing with Honda later this year, prompting speculation that he will cut short his surprise V8 stint and race as a wildcard in the Australian and Japanese Grands Prix this year.

But the 27-year-old said his focus was still completing the V8 second-tier Dunlop Series in his Red Bull Racing Holden.

The next round – and third-last of the series – will be held in Winton from August 23.

“It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps,” Stoner said.

“It’s been nine months since I’ve been on a bike and it’s going to take me some time to get used to everything again.

“But it doesn’t change my mind about the wildcards – this is not something I am planning to do.”

Stoner only completed six laps on a wet opening day at the Motegi circuit but made up for lost time on the second, enjoying 47 laps starting on Honda’s world championship-winning RC213V before moving onto a prototype 2014 bike.

Honda spokesman Shuhei Nakamoto couldn’t hide his excitement over Stoner’s involvement.

“We’ve been able to gather a vast amount of data and ideas for development,” he said.

“Consequently we aim to increase our pace of development and hope that this, in turn, will lead to us winning this year’s championship.”

But Stoner was keen to rule out a MotoGP return this year – not the only rumour he has had to hose down recently.

Stoner has also had to deny speculation that he will grab a Bathurst 1000 V8 drive this year.

The rumour mill went into overdrive following surprise news that a third Red Bull Holden would be launched at Mount Panorama, with Stoner immediately linked with retired great Mark Skaife.

Both have denied what would be a dream pairing for the great race.

Two European drivers have since been linked with the third Red Bull entry.