Ducati has confirmed that 2018 will be Casey Stoner’s last year with the Bologna factory as a test rider.
Reports emerged in August that Stoner might give up his test role and Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti claimed that his future depended on his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Stoner, however, later explained that his motivation was being affected by a feeling that his feedback was being ignored.
It has now been decided that the Australian will not be part of the Ducati ranks in 2019, after three years back on red bikes which followed three as a Honda test rider.
“I want to thank Ducati for the great memories and especially the support and enthusiasm of the Ducati fans for our shared passion for racing and motorcycling, I’ll always remember this,” said Stoner.
“Over the past three years I have really enjoyed doing my job with the test team, the engineers and technicians, as we worked towards improving the Desmosedici GP package and I sincerely want to wish the team all the very best for their future endeavours.”
Stoner is, to date, Ducati’s only MotoGP world championship winner by virtue of the first of his two titles in 2007.
Andrea Dovizioso took the championship fight to the final race last year and he and outgoing team-mate Jorge Lorenzo have been the only riders to consistently challenge Honda’s Marc Marquez in 2018.
“Casey is and will always remain in the hearts of Ducatisti and it is also on their behalf that we wish to thank him for the important collaboration he has offered us over the last three years,” said Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali.
“His technical indications and suggestions, together with the work and the feedback of the factory riders and Michele Pirro, have helped to make the Desmosedici GP one of the most competitive bikes on the grid, and his advice for the development of our production bikes has been just as precious and useful.
“Ducati and its many fans wish to offer their sincere thanks and their best wishes to Casey and his family for a serene and happy future.”
The current MotoGP season draws to a close in Valencia from this Friday.