Casey Stoner is to make a return to MotoGP over the coming months - but only as a test rider.
Double world champion Stoner quit at the end of last year, claiming he was disillusioned and no longer enjoyed competing in the sport.
The 27-year-old Australian, however, is to take part in four tests for Honda's research and development team as they evolve the RC213V and a new production bike to be sold to selected MotoGP teams for next year.
Despite speculation, Honda insist the tests are not a forerunner to Stoner returning to MotoGP full time, stating it is "now out of the question".
Stoner added: "It's been almost seven months now since Valencia (the final race last season) and I'm still happy and comfortable with the decision I made to stop racing.
"Sometimes I miss riding my RCV, so I am happy HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) asked me to do some tests in Motegi this year.
"This will allow me to enjoy what I miss - riding a MotoGP bike.
"I'm looking forward to getting on it and seeing how it has changed from last year, and I'd like to thank Honda for this opportunity."
HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto has no doubts Stoner's feedback will prove invaluable.
"We are very pleased to have Casey back on a Honda. He knows this machine very well and I'm sure he can help our engineers and technicians with the development of the RC213V," said Nakamoto.
"We will also ask him to test the new production racer and give us his initial feedback to assist us in producing the best machine possible."