In fairness to Melling, he flagged this article as nothing more than "well informed paddock gossip" and then put together what amounts to a very entertaining argument
for why Stoner might
have sufficient reason to return.
One major point of weakness is the suggestion that Stoner is not happy where he is and that he is itching to show those uppity Europeans Rossi and Marquez what's what.
It would be a huge thing for Stoner to turn around and head back to Europe and MotoGP, given what he has said about the scene and his distaste for it. Probably not going to happen.
Nevertheless ... running around Aussie circuits in production-based, control-chassis V8 four-wheelers does not sound very exciting for him at the moment. Nothing like the same opportunity for self-expression he found in MotoGP.
And then there is Stoner's psychology. Clearly he has felt underappreciated over most of his MotoGP career. He thinks people just don't get quite how good he is. Winning with Honda will have helped set that to rest, but now that Marquez has his old ride and Rossi seems to be back in contention it is very much "Stoner who?".
So, the valid point Melling makes is that an opportunity to make $15 million while wiping the floor with Rossi and Marquez, and on a Ducati - the bike that leached away at Rossi's self-belief - might look somewhat attractive to Stoner as he contemplates another weekend of biff and bash among the midfield of the support series for the domestic family-car championship.
I suspect he could convince himself that to return under such circumstances would not be a backdown.
I am not sure he is quite so passive-aggressive as to deprive himself of the opportunity just to thwart Ezpelita.
Whether he has the stomach for it is a whole other question. Probably not.
And then there is that teensy little point that Melling leaps over in three words: "When Audi fixes the GP13, which they will
Ducati would need to convince Stoner that the Duc would be on par with the Honda that he had already declined a $15 million offer to ride. It is not obvious how they will cook up enough evidence.