News 15 Mar 2010

MotoGP: Repsol Honda launches 2010 campaign in Madrid

Dani Pedrosa will return to number 26 this season with Honda.

Dani Pedrosa will return to number 26 this season with Honda.

The Repsol Honda Team held its official launch in Madrid, Spain today with the start of the 2010 MotoGP season just under one month away. Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa was the star of show held in front of 7000 fans at the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid. The event was timed to coincide with the penultimate round of the FIM Indoor Trial World Championship at the same venue.

Appropriately, Pedrosa rode a trials bike onto the stage before a machine he is more familiar with – his Honda RC212V race bike – was dramatically lowered from the roof of the arena. Andrea Dovizioso, Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda team-mate was also due to attend this evening’s team launch but, having suffered from a fever over the last few days and with the final pre-season test taking place in Qatar this coming week, the Italian wisely elected to stay at home to speed his recovery. Dovizioso sent a special message to his fans from his home in Forli, Italy.

In 2010 the partnership between Repsol and Honda will enter its 16th season and it’s an association which has made “Repsol Honda” one of the most recognisable team names in motorcycle racing history. Pedrosa and Dovizioso will be riding the latest evolution of Honda’s 800cc four-stroke RC212V race machine, which features a new chassis and swing-arm and an upgraded electronics package.

“To be here for the Repsol Honda Team launch and to see the support of all our fans is a great feeling,” Pedrosa explained. “I’m feeling really motivated for the coming season and our targets are clear – to improve in every area and consistently fight for race wins.

“It’s especially good to be here today because last year I couldn’t be at the team presentation because I was injured – and that was a strange feeling, sitting at home watching it. So I’m starting this season in a really positive mood. In general it has been a very good winter for me and much better than the last one. I have been able to do a lot of physical training and work on my fitness levels.

Also I was able to rest after the end of the last season and, even though I had a small operation to remove a screw from my wrist, the recovery period after this was very short and I can begin the year in very good shape. The training will help me a lot throughout the season to maintain my maximum performance.

“At the last test in Sepang we couldn’t make all the progress we would have like to have done, but we still have two more days of testing ahead of us and we will take the maximum profit from them to prepare for the first race. In Qatar we will be working to improve a few more areas with the machine and I’m sure that when we solve these issues we will take a big step forward – and I hope to do it in Qatar. I’m looking forward to this season.”

Teammate Dovizioso was disappointed not to be at the launch, however he expects to be fit in time for the season opener under lights at Qatar next month.

“I’m really sorry not to able to attend the Repsol Team Launch but unfortunately high fever and flu are keeping me in bed, and at this moment of the season with the Qatar test taking place next week, our priority is to be fit and ready for the last test of the winter,” he said. “Our common goal is to be competitive from round one – we all want to see the Repsol Honda machines fighting at the front every Sunday.

“We have all worked hard during the winter: Honda has improved all aspects of the package, and from our side we have been committed in training as well as giving direction to the development team. We know that it won’t be easy but we will give our best to fight with the fastest riders every race weekend. I’d like to thank Honda. I have raced for all my career on their bikes. Together we won the 125 championship, we came close to taking the 250cc title for three years in a row, and now I’m very happy to be in the factory Repsol Honda Team for a second year.

“This is where I want to be and I can’t wait to get to the first race in Qatar.”

The Repsol Honda Team begins its assault on the MotoGP World Championship at the opening round of the season on 9-11 April at the Losail Circuit in Qatar.