Qatar Recap: Repsol Honda Happy With Results, But Not Satisfied

Stoner_and_Pedrosa_in_QatarThe Repsol Honda team couldn’t have done much better at the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP season. Casey Stoner took the opening race win, and was followed by his teammate Dani Pedrosa in 2nd place, and Andrea Dovizioso in 4th. But despite the strong results, the Repsol Honda team is not completely satisfied with Qatar.

Stoner, who won the Qatar race by more than 3 seconds, acknowledge that there was a small problem with his motorcycle at the beginning of the race.

“This morning in warm up we had a few issues getting a good feeling with the bike, carrying a full tank of fuel and this issue also affected us in the early part of the race,” Stoner said. “We knew though as the fuel level decreased and the tires aged, that our bike would come back to us. Dani came past and we decided to follow to see where he was strong and where I was weak.

“When I started to feel more confident with the bike and had more grip and better turning, we decided to push forwards and take advantage. Tonight the bike was fantastic, as it has been for all the sessions and I’m very proud to be racing for Repsol Honda and to take my first victory in the first race. It is a great way to start the season! I’m really happy with how everything has gone and the way the team has all worked together, a big thanks to Honda and my best wishes to Japan in this difficult time”.

Dani Pedrosa took second during the opening race, but was a little disappointed with his performance. Pedrosa said that his left arm bothered him throughout the race, and by the end he was merely holding onto the handlebars.

“I’m disappointed, not for the race I had, but for the physical problems I had again with my left arm,” Pedrosa said. “Already inDani_Pedrosa practice I felt something, but I was not sure if it could be that bad. At the end I couldn’t grab the handlebar and in the last 7-8 laps I couldn’t use the clutch at all. I was just holding the arm and I was suffering a lot.

“The bike was perfect all race, I had the chance to win but I had a very hard time, one of the toughest races of my life. I don’t know what I can do because I should be ok after the rest I had this winter. I did the tests and everything was in order. I feel sorry for my team as well, because the bike was very good, fast, perfect also in the corners. I’m proud of how I’ve been riding, I’ve been fighting with Casey in this circuit, as nobody else did in the past, but at the same time, I feel sad because I don’t know what the future will bring.

“I know we will go to Jerez in two weeks, where the bike will run very well, and I’m very strong and fast, but I don’t know what will happen.”

The final Repsol Honda across the line, Andrea Dovizioso, was a little disappointed that he couldn’t make it an all Repsol Honda podium. Dovizioso was beat out by Jorge Lorenzo for the final spot on the podium.

“I’m a bit disappointed because our target was the podium but all in all I had a good race,” Dovizioso said. “In the first laps I thought I could fight for the podium. I’m satisfied with my pace, I also did my fastest time on the last lap. The bike was consistent, but we need to make another step forward to stay with Casey and Dani.

“I lost time in the fight with Simoncelli, his passing maneuver was at the limit in my opinion. This was a crucial moment because we lost time which we needed to fight for the podium. I want to thank my team for the work done on the bike. I’m also happy of my physical condition because I finished the race without being too tired although racing here is demanding”.

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Stoner, Pedrosa, Spies on Top in FP2

casey_stoner_qatar_fp2_2011Another free practice session, another fantastic outing by the boys at Repsol Honda. Casey Stoner led the second free practice session for the MotoGP riders in Qatar, and was followed by his teammate Dani Pedrosa. Stoner and Pedrosa scored a 1-2 finish during the first free practice session yesterday as well at the Losail International Circuit.

As of right now, Stoner is riding at another level than the rest of the MotoGP riders. For the second day in a row he topped the time sheets, but not only that, he leads most of the field by at least a half second. Pedrosa is the only rider to finish within .5 seconds of the pace setter.

The Fiat Yamaha Team saw some good improvement today as Ben Spies moved up the rankings to claim third place behind Pedrosa.

In fourth came the final Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, before Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line in fifth, .715 seconds behind adrift of Stoner’s pace. Colin Edwards and Marco Simoncelli were the final two riders to finish within a second of Stoner.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 racer Cal Crutchlow took 8th place before the Ducati duo of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden crossed the line to finish the top 10.

The MotoGP riders will have one more free practice session today to fine tune their bikes. The first qualifying session of the 2011 MotoGP season will take place tomorrow, before the first race kicks off under the lights on Sunday.

MotoGP – Qatar – Free Practice 2 Results

1 Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda
2 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda
3 Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory
4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda
5 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Factory
6 Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini
8 Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team
10 Nicky Hayden ITA Ducati Team

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Repsol Honda on Top in Qatar

Stoner_QatarThe MotoGP has just finished the final testing session before the start of the 2011 MotoGP season, and Casey Stoner found himself at the top.

The Repsol Honda duo of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were on top throughout the final testing session, but it was Stoner’s turn to take top honors today. Stoner set a 1’55.681 lap time around the Qatar track, barely edging out his teammate by .06 seconds.

The two Honda riders were more than a half second faster than the third place rider, Ben Spies. Following the Yamaha rider were two more Honda machines ridden by Marco Simoncelli and the final Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso.

Randy de Puniet was the fastest Ducati on the track and the final rider to finish within a second of Stoner.

2010 MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo spent the day working on his electronics and his acceleration in the lower gears, and finished 7th for the day, more than a second behind the Repsol Honda duo.

Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, and Hector Barbera finished out the top 10.

Valentino Rossi had a promising start to the Qatar test yesterday, but today his times slowed.

The 2011 MotoGP season starts next weekend in Qatar, and it looks like a Honda rider is going to claim the first win of the season.

MotoGP – 2nd Testing Session – Qatar

  1. Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – 1:55.681
  2. Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team
  3. Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing
  4. Marco Simoncelli – San Carlo Honda Gresini
  5. Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team
  6. Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Team
  7. Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing
  8. Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  9. Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro Team
  10. Hiroshi Aoyama – San Carlo Honda Gresini

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CBR250R Launches in Indonesia With Help of Repsol Honda Team

repsol_honda_launches_cbr250rThe CBR250R was unveiled this weekend in Indonesia, and the Repsol Honda team was there to help. Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, and Andrea Dovizioso flew to Indonesia to help new sponsor, Astra Honda, to unveil the new motorcycle.

The Repsol Honda team also helped Astra Honda to promote a new motorcycle school aimed at young motorcycle talent.

The CBR250R is Honda’s flagship motorcycle in the expanding Indonesian market. Approximately 7.4 million motorcycles were sold in Indonesia in 2010, and many of them came from Astra Honda. Astra Honda moved 3.4 million units in 2010, and expects to move even more in 2011.

The Astra Honda team will be sponsoring Repsol Honda with it’s “One Heart” branding on the side of the RC212V. Astra also sponsors 20 other teams in Indonesia.

“In this season, you will see the ‘One Heart’ logo on our machines and racing gear, at many circuits around the world, said Mr. Tetsuo Suzuki, HRC President and Honda R&D Managing Director. “I was very much moved when I learnt the meaning of ‘One Heart. I’ve heard it shows Astra Honda’s wish to be a life-time partner for those who are young at heart, who challenge always for their dreams. It is the very core of Honda philosophy, or Honda spirit. With ‘One Heart’ we promise you that we are going to try our best to get back the Championship in 2011.”

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Repsol Honda Continues Pre-Season Domination

Casey_Stoner_Repsol_HondaCasey StonerSeeing Casey Stoner at the top of the time sheets for the third consecutive wasn’t a surprising feat. But seeing all three Repsol Honda riders consistently score top five finishes was quite impressive. The second MotoGP testing session at Sepang has shown us one thing. The RC212V is the fastest bike in the MotoGP so far this year.

Stoner topped the time sheets on each of the three days at Sepang, but saved his fastest time for the final day. Stoner broke the 2 minute barrier today, setting a blistering fast 1’59.665 lap time around the Malaysia track. Dani Pedrosa placed second for the third straight today, and like his teammate, also lapped under the 2 minute mark. Both Stoner and Pedrosa set a lap time under the track record set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.

Another RC212V finished in fourth place, but this time with the San Carlo Gresini team. Marco Simoncelli took third place honors, before the final Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, finished in fourth.

The first non-Honda bike to cross the line was a Yamaha driven by Ben Spies. Spies outpaced his teammate Jorge Lorenzo by .3 seconds. The 2010 champion finished in 7th for the day behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, Colin Edwards. The Yamaha trio finished more than a second behind the pace setter.

Alvaro Bautista rode the fastest Suzuki today, finishing in 8th behind Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi still hasn’t found the right settings on his bike. The Doctor finished in 11th place today, nearly two seconds behind Stoner.

MotoGP Sepang Test – Day Three Results

  1. Casey Stoner – 1’59.665
  2. Dani Pedrosa – 1’59.803
  3. Marco Simoncelli – 2’00.163
  4. Andrea Dovizioso – 2’00.541
  5. Ben Spies – 2’00.678
  6. Colin Edwards – 2’00.966
  7. Jorge Lorenzo – 2’01.003
  8. Alvaro Bautista – 2’01.194
  9. Hiroshi Aoyama – 2’01.328
  10. Hector Barbera – 2’01.346
  11. Valentino Rossi – 2’01.469

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