This Monday the team that won the 2011 World MotoGP Championship was presented to the international press in Sepang. After the winter break the Repsol Honda Team riders, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, have recharged their batteries and are eager to get back to business before the new season starts.
Sepang was the setting for the first presentation of the Repsol team in 2012. Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner were accompanied on the stage by Shuhei Nakamoto (Deputy CEO of HRC), Hideki Iwano (Director and Assistant to HRC`s CEO), Shinichi Kokubu (Technical Director) y Livio Suppo (Director of Communication and Marketing). The other star at the act was the new Honda RC213V, with the Number 1 emblazoned on its fairing, something that identifies Casey Stoner as the reigning World Champion.
The Repsol Honda Team arrived in Malaysia on Saturday and was back at the circuit of Sepang for the first time since the death of Marco Simoncelli on 23rd October in a tragic accident. As a measure of respect the whole team visited the place where the Italian rider lost his life to leave some flowers and hold a minute`s silence.
MotoGP returns to bikes with a displacement of 1 000cc this season and the Repsol Honda Team will go all out to retain the world title. Moreover, this season the two riders will tell us all the details of their battles to win the title on their blogs at repsol.com.
"It is nice to get back together with the team for this first test in Sepang. I can`t wait to get back on the bike after the tests we had in Valencia in November. Sepang is a good circuit for testing and we still have a lot of things to discover on the new bike. We have not ridden for a long time and the first test is always important to pick up the pace again, to regain the sensations of riding fast. We have three long days of testing ahead of us with the team and HRC, and we will have to really concentrate if we are to get valuable information that will let us make progress in this the second test session. Our main objective will be to get to know the bike and the new Bridgestone tyres better".
"The winter break was really good for us. I went back to Australia to be with my family and friends over Christmas and me and my wife had a great time. Then we went to Switzerland to get everything ready for the birth of our first child. Adriana will give birth in a couple of week´s time, so now we have everything ready. After our great season in 2011 I am still concentrated but I do not expect to be in tip-top form right from the off. I am sure that Honda has done some good work on the new 1 000cc bike this winter and I am dying to ride it to see what we can do; I hope to start strongly once again. We know that there will be a lot of competition; Ducati has made a big effort, the same goes for Yamaha, so it will be very interesting to go out on the track to see where we are in relation to each other. But it is very early and we will have to wait until the first race in Qatar to find out the real level of our rivals in 2012, but we are ready for them".
"We will start the new 2012 season with a clear objective: to work harder than ever to defend the MotoGP titles in the new 1 000cc class. We have ended the era of the 800cc winning the Triple Crown and we want to do the same in 2012. We are very confident that our riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa can meet this ambitious challenge and we will once again put all our support, both technical and human, in their hands. The RC213V is an evolution of the RC212V, based on the same concept. The bikes we have brought to Sepang are basically the same as those we tested in Valencia, but with some small differences. Both Casey and Dani will have a bike similar to the ones they had in Valencia and another with a chassis that is a little different, which have been modified according to their wishes. Our engineers have done some great work to improve the bike this winter and together with our riders we will carry on making it better right up to the start of the season in Qatar. We are back at Sepang for the first time since we lost Marco Simoncelli in October and yesterday we visited the place where the accident happened to leave a bunch of flowers and say “farewell” to Marco. I think that the best tribute we can make is to start the season as strongly as possible".