The Repsol Honda Team crosses the Atlantic Ocean this week and heads to California to participate in the first US race of the season at the Red Bull US Grand Prix in Laguna Seca.
HRC have been very productive since Mugello and have prepared the new parts that both Pedrosa and Stoner tested on the Monday test. In Laguna, Pedrosa will have the 2013 spec machine featuring a new engine and chassis as he requested, and Stoner will have the new engine in the standard chassis, which he feels more comfortable with.
Laguna Seca is a very particular track, the shortest of the championship; quite bumpy, technical and physically very demanding, not only due to the high temperatures that can easily reach up to 30 degrees but also because of the tiresome 32 lap race.
Pedrosa and Stoner, second and third respectively after the first half of the Championship, have both won in Laguna Seca in the past. Stoner has taken the top step of the podium twice (in 2007 and 2011, the two seasons in which he was MotoGP World Champion) and Pedrosa won in 2009 and crashed the year after while leading the race. Two additional podium finishes for each (Stoner in 2008 and 2010 and Pedrosa in 2006 and 2011) make both Honda factory riders confident to fight at front of the field in California.
"I'm really looking forward to racing in Laguna Seca. The atmosphere there is fantastic and it's a very particular track, nothing like what we are used to in Europe. Laguna is very small, bumpy and technical. Last year it was a very hard race for me due to the lack of fitness, so I hope to enjoy riding there again as we did in the past. Honda has made a big effort to bring the new parts to Laguna so we'll have our standard bike but we'll also get the new engine and chassis we tested in Mugello and I hope we can take advantage of these improvements and have another good race."
"I always look forward to going to Laguna, it's a circuit we've enjoyed quite good results at and the atmosphere there is fantastic. The circuit is a very tight and technical and it's definitely a positive that it goes around to the left, as we have less chatter on the left hand side. However, some of the most critical corners are right-handers so it depends how we can get the bike set up before I can say if we'll be competitive. We've had a nice short break since Mugello and we're looking to improve on our results from the last two races. HRC have worked hard in Japan to provide us with the new engine and some parts from the test, hopefully we can have three dry sessions to get some work done and be competitive for Sunday, but we'll have to wait until we get on track."
Source: Repsol Honda Team