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Stoner comes out of retirement for Honda test

updated 8:14 AM EDT, Tue July 23, 2013
Casey Stoner is getting back on a bike to help Honda test its 2014 machines.
Casey Stoner is getting back on a bike to help Honda test its 2014 machines.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner is coming out of retirement to test for Honda
  • The 27-year-old Australian will take part in four tests in Japan
  • Stoner says he still misses riding a MotoGP bike but has no plans to make a full return
  • Honda's new star Marc Marquez leads 2013 championship after a debut win at U.S. Grand Prix

(CNN) -- Two-wheeled temptation has proved too much for retired MotoGP champion Casey Stoner.

Eight months ago the Australian quit the sport but now he is getting back on the bike to test for Honda.

Stoner will reunite with his old team in four tests at the Motegi circuit starting next month.

"This will allow me to enjoy what I miss -- riding a MotoGP bike!" said Stoner.

"I can't wait to get on the RCV [motorcycle] to see how it has changed from last year."

Stoner was Repsol Honda's defending MotoGP world champion before he made a shock decision to walk away from the sport at the end of the 2012 season.

Explaining his thoughts at the time, he said: "The sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it.

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"There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction."

Stoner's return to help out Honda has led to speculation the double world champion could be tempted to make a full-time return in 2014.

But the Australian, who is now competing in the second tier of the Australian V8 Supercars series this year, says that is not part of the plan.

"It's been almost seven months now since Valencia and I'm still happy and comfortable with the decision I made to stop motorcycle racing, even if sometimes I miss riding my RCV," he said.

"That's why I am happy with Honda's offer to do some tests in Motegi this year!"

Honda said a "wildcard" appearance by Stoner in the remaining MotoGP races this season was also "out of the question."

New star

The Japanese team have a new star riding high with Spanish rookie Marc Marquez leading his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa in the championship at the halfway point of the season.

The 20-year-old Spaniard came back from a qualifying crash to win on his first ride round California's Laguna Seca at the U.S. Grand Prix Sunday.

That win -- which included a stunning move on Yamaha's Valentino Rossi -- made him the youngest MotoGP rider to notch up back-to-back victories and the first to win at the California racetrack on debut.

"Before I came here, I was expecting to struggle more," Marquez told MotoGP.com. "From the TV, this circuit looked so tricky.

"At the beginning with a full fuel tank, I was a little bit scared. I'm very, very happy because it's a new circuit and I've got 25 points."

The other podium places at Laguna Seca were settled by Stefan Bradl of LCR Honda, who finished second ahead of seven-time world champion Rossi.

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