Livio Suppo, the current manager of Team Ecstar Suzuki, who worked in 2012 as the manager of the HRC Repsol Honda factory project, admitted that Suhei Nakamoto’s plan was to create a super team of Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez. Also, an interesting fact became known about how Honda then blocked Stoner’s exit at the start of the Grand Prix… Why?
In an interview Moto. it Suppo admitted that the fate of Dani Pedrosa after 2012 was really determined: Marc Marquez was supposed to take his place in Repsol Honda, but the Australian’s statement at the French Grand Prix about retiring from MotoGP saved Pedrosa.
“Stoner, of course, confused all Honda’s plans. We sincerely believed that he expected to continue his career for several more years. He was supposed to partner with Marquez. The idea was like this. In Jerez, in 2012, Nakamoto made Casey an offer that was quite interesting from a financial point of view: a real pile of money, but then he said no. I think he just burned out from this lifestyle. He could continue to ride at the highest level for another 5-6 years. But there is also the pressure of behind-the-scenes life…” said Suppo.
Then, when Marc Marquez entered the game, he and his manager Emilio Elsamora blocked Stoner’s participation in the life of HRC a couple of times. The first time was a block of ideas – to make Casey an official test pilot and developer of Honda for the whole of 2013 and to assist the Brand. Nakamoto insisted on Stoner’s participation in the test program only since 2014.
Former LCR Honda manager Oscar Taro confirmed that Casey Stoner was required by Honda at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix because Stefan Bradl broke his leg and needed a strong replacement. Stoner looked like the perfect candidate.
“We spoke on the phone with Lucio Cecchinello [the boss of LCR Honda]: It looks like we have a free motorcycle. We need to call Livio and suggest to him that Casey join us. We require him on Phillip Island! – Taro said, – Come on, it will be cool. I’m sure Casey will kick Mark’s ass. What was our surprise when Livio categorically refused to do this.”
The decision of the Repsol Honda manager was dictated by the overall strategy of the team, which was formed in coordination with the Marquez team. Suppo and Co. we were really worried that Stoner would take away points from the new favorite HRC.
One way or another, Marquez missed the opportunity to earn points at the Australian Grand Prix due to a team error but became champion in Valencia. His advantage over Jorge Lorenzo was only 4 points at the finish.