The Repsol Honda team was officially unveiled at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur a day before the start of the first official test of the season.Appearing together for the first time to unveil the new RC212V were Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and newcomer Casey Stoner. The team is three strong for the first time since 1995, when Mick Doohan was teamed with Alex Criville and Shinichi ItoHRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto introduced the three riders, all of them former world champions, and discussed the improvements on the RC212V following last year's season-ending test in Valencia."The RC212V that is here in Sepang for this first test of the season is an evolution of the 2010 machine," Nakamoto said. "Last year's results show that we can count on a good base, but we must continue developing. With important feedback from Dani, Andrea and Casey, I am sure we will take another step forward during the winter tests, to be strong from round one. Nevertheless, our development will never stop, because for Honda, competitions are the best way to test new technology and improve existing."

Pedrosa has spent the water rehabbing the shoulder he injured in last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

"The winter break has been long, as always, but in my case also good because I had time to rest and do a proper rehabilitation for my shoulder," he said. "I feel stronger now and arrive here in Sepang much better but I'm also looking forward to see what is my level on the bike. It will be like a personal test for me and I'm excited to see the results."The test program is to continue developing the good base we had last year. In particular we need to find something extra on the chassis and the engine to improve the stability of the bike entering the corner and the traction at the exit."My target is to fight for the title, of course. In my previous years in MotoGP I had very good races, I've been fighting in front but I still miss the title. This can be due to several reasons, but if I could change something I would say my real wish is to avoid further injury. It's very difficult, I know, but this would be my first desire, to be on all the starting grids this season because my absence results in valuable points lost."Teammate Andrea Dovizioso finished the season strongly, but didn't add to his win total. He knows he'll have to be more consistent if he's to fight for the title."This year we have a high target; to fight for the championship," he said. "Honda has worked hard during the winter and I also did my part. I have started a new training method to gain more resistance in the race distance, I have trained a lot and I am really confident in my preparation. Then of course we can see the final results only once on track, but fortunately I don't have to wait too much."Stoner remembered his fellow Australian Doohan, saying he was excited to wear the same colors as the five-time World Champion."When I was a child, I used to watch Mick Doohan winning Championships one after the other with these colors and for me it's an honor to be part of this team," he said. "The aim in Sepang is to understand better the strong points of the RC212V and where we have to improve to be competitive at every track."

 

 

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By Cycle News Staff

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