While Stoner has engaged in a number of MotoGP test sessions for HRC since his retirement, the Suzuka endurance event (part of the FIM World Endurance Championship), will mark the Aussie's first international-level race event since his retirement.
The 2007 and 2011 MotoGP champion will form part of Honda's MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO three person team at this year's Suzuka 8hr race, taking place on Sunday 26th July.
Stoner, together with Honda World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark and MFJ All Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship and HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi, will be looking to clinch Honda's sixth consecutive win in the prestigious endurance event.
As the name suggests, the Suzuka 8-Hour runs for eight hours consecutively where teams (composed of two or more riders) alternate riders during pit stops.
Having renewed his testing contract with HRC late last year, Stoner tested the Suzuka CBR1000RR machine during January's Sepang test, reporting positively on the machine to Honda engineers.
Stoner will have further opportunities to test the Honda CBR endurance machine on the 7th/8th and 14th/15th July.
"After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, I've been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka. It's always been an event I wanted to do and something I was never able to consider when I was racing in MotoGP, due to our busy schedules, so I'm really looking forward to taking part! The bike is very different to a MotoGP machine, but it will be a new challenge and a chance for me to try something new and unlike what I've been used to in my racing to this point. I've been impressed with Michael van der Mark this season and Takumi Takahashi has a lot of experience on this machine, so I'm looking forward to hearing their comments and working together with them in preparation for the July race. Now I need to concentrate on my training to be ready for the race!"
images: cortesy of HRC