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Stoner leaves Ducati to join Honda team

Casey Stoner leaves Ducati after four seasons with the Italian manufacturer, including winning the 2007 world title.
Casey Stoner leaves Ducati after four seasons with the Italian manufacturer, including winning the 2007 world title.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australian MotoGP star Casey Stoner will leave Ducati at the end of the current season
  • The 24-year-old will rejoin Honda, the manufacturer he made his debut with in 2006
  • Stoner will join Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso in a formidable line-up next year
  • World champion Valentino Rossi is now expected to leave Yamaha to link-up with Ducati

(CNN) -- Australian MotoGP star Casey Stoner will leave Ducati at the end of the season to join Japanese manufacturer Honda.

The 24-year-old actually made his MotoGP debut with the satellite LCR Honda outfit in 2006 before moving to Ducati, where he won the world title in 2007.

"We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year," the factory-team's vice president Shuhei Nakamoto told the official MotoGP website.

"Clearly he is one of the top riders in MotoGP and he will bring valuable speed and experience to our team.

I will not forget these years with Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work so closely with.
--Casey Stoner
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"We already have two very strong and experienced riders in Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso who are performing very well and currently hold second and third positions in the 2010 World Championship.

"We hope to retain these two riders for next year -- giving us what would be a truly formidable line-up."

Stoner added: "I have decided to move on. I will have new challenges in the future and different obstacles to overcome, but I will not forget these years with Ducati and the people I have had the privilege to work with."

World champion Valentino Rossi is now expected to leave Yamaha to link-up with his fellow-Italians at Ducati.

Rossi is currently recuperating from a broken leg suffered at the Italian Grand Prix last month but is expected to return before the end of the season.