Repsol Honda Team heads home for Japanese Grand Prix
This weekend, the Japanese Grand Prix will mark, as it did in 2010, the beginning of the final chapter of the MotoGP World Championship, which then stops in Australia and Malaysia before the final round in Valencia on 6th November.
The Motegi circuit will welcome the travelling family of the World Championship, in particular the Repsol Honda Team, with Casey Stoner leading the standings forty-four points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Repsol Honda team mate Andrea Dovizioso lies in third place with Dani Pedrosa just 15 points behind him in fourth.
Casey Stoner, who is enjoying a fantastic season so far, in which he has achieved 8 wins and 13 podiums in 14 races, returns to the track where he was triumphant last season, now wearing Honda colours at their home Grand Prix.
Dani Pedrosa, despite physical problems, has two wins this season and a total of eight podium finishes in eleven races. Dani has visited the podium in Motegi five times in his career. He will be looking for a strong performance in front of the Honda fans and to erase last year's race from his memory, when he broke his collarbone on Friday, during the first free practice.
Motegi is also a venue where Andrea will aim to shine again, last year he achieved his first ever MotoGP pole position and took second place on the podium after one of his best races in the premier class.
HRC will present a fantastic line up in Motegi hoping to bring courage and support for the East Japan area. In addition to the riders participating in every Championship round (Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner for Repsol Honda Team; Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama for Gresini Team, and Toni Elías for LCR Team), HRC test riders Shinishi Ito and Kosuku Akiyoshi will also race in Motegi. Ito will be a wild card entry in a HRC Team while Akiyoshi will ride alongside Elías for LCR.
CASEY STONER – World Championship Position: 1st with 284 points
"Motegi is quite a different circuit, it's similar in a way to Le Mans and is very stop-start, a little like a go kart track, but in general it's nice and more fun than some of the other circuits we visit. It has a lot of hard breaking, a lot of hard accelerating, it's pretty tough on the body and physically demanding. If you miss your breaking points it's easy to run wide so it will be important to get the set up on the bike just right. As in Aragon, we will be going out there trying to win and not only looking for valuable Championship points. We had a fantastic race here last year, probably one of my best in my opinion and it will be fun to go there on the Honda and see how the bike works around the circuit".
Last season we had a great race and we almost won, so I’m confident to repeat a great performance at Motegi.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship Position: 3rd with 185 points
"We go to Japan focused on returning to the podium, this has to be our target. We will arrive at the Japanese GP this year in the same position we were last year - straight from a crash and zero points, but I’m determined to transform this disappointment with extra motivation. Last season we had a great race and we almost won, so I’m confident to repeat a great performance at Motegi, a circuit that I like and where I have been on the podium in all the three classes. Moreover, this is Honda’s home GP and it’s very important to score a good result here. Regarding the characteristics of the track, the Twin Ring Motegi has a lot of acceleration zones so it suits the RC212V well, allowing us to use all the strong points of our machine. Concerning the Championship, we are third in the World Standings and we aim to strengthen our position, recovering some points on Lorenzo and maintaining the gap to Dani".
DANI PEDROSA – World Championship Position: 4th with 170 points
"Motegi is one of my favourite circuits not only for the layout but also for the atmosphere; I always ride well there and feel a lot of support from the Japanese fans and I think this year will be even more special for them. Obviously, last year I had a hard time there due to my injury, but I want to focus on my riding and enjoy the GP. I go there with the same approach as the last races: trying to do our best in all the sessions. We've been at a good level, with three second places in a row and I am looking forward to this race. I have won at this track in 125 and 250, but not yet in MotoGP, so that's a big motivation for me. I enjoy racing in Motegi and together with my team will do our best to perform well".