Jorge Lorenzo says he expects Casey Stoner will make some wildcard outings next season in his new role as Ducati test rider.
It was confirmed last month that two-time MotoGP champion Stoner will rejoin the Italian manufacturer in 2016 after a five-year stint at Honda, with his first test ride expected to come in January.
But Lorenzo thinks that, although Ducati has so far remained tight-lipped on whether Stoner will race, he will end up making his first Grand Prix start since hanging up his helmet at the end of 2012.
“Surely he will be encouraged to run as a wildcard in some races; I think that is their intention,” Lorenzo said in an interview on MotoGP.com.
“I thought last year he would be out in a race [to replace the injured Dani Pedrosa], but at the end, due to circumstances, he wasn’t.
“He will want to go out on Phillip Island or some other tracks, surely we will see him fighting with us, I think for victory.”
Lorenzo added that Stoner making wildcard appearances would be a boost for the championship, if it meant having another rider up front capable of challenging for wins.
“I have seen very few, if any, riders with the natural talent of Casey, to be fast right away with any bike and in all weather conditions,” said the Spaniard.
“It would be great news for everyone if Casey were to decide to come compete again."