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Dominant Repsol Honda aiming to continue on top

Dominant Repsol Honda aiming to continue on top

Dominant Repsol Honda aiming to continue on top

The Repsol Honda Team rolls into Donington Park for round nine of the MotoGP World Championship in confident mood ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. A fantastic display at the Dutch TT last weekend has put Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa in first and second places in the riders' world championship, with Honda at the top of the manufacturers' standings and Repsol Honda out in front in the team competition.

Fresh from his first MotoGP victory of the season in Holland, Hayden has declared that his game plan for Donington remains unchanged. The American ace will be working as hard as ever with his pit crew to maintain the phenomenal speed and consistency that has seen him build a championship lead of 42 points at the season's half-way point. The 24-year-old former US Superbike champion has finished off the podium only once in 2006, and another top-three at Donington will be his eleventh podium from the last twelve MotoGP races.

"The win last weekend was pretty exciting but it doesn't last long – we've got to go right back to work and just try to keep this level of performance going," said Hayden. "We'll go into Donington and try to be smart and strong all weekend, get a good qualifying position and have a good package for Sunday so we can fight again for a victory. It's nice to have a lead in the championship but it's still really early in the year and the main thing is to stay focussed and stay hungry. Donington is a home GP for some of my team – there's a lot people in the Repsol Honda Team based in England – and we want to get the best possible result for them. I really like the first section of the track and I've been quick there before. The Craner Curves really separate the men from the boys pretty quickly – you need some guts and a good set-up to get through there fast. I haven't always been so quick in the last section with the hairpin and the chicanes, so that's what I'll be trying to improve this weekend."

Pedrosa arrives at the circuit determined to take the next step in his rapid development as a MotoGP rider. The 20-year-old reigning 250cc world champion, who has already notched up a win and two pole positions in 2006, intends to improve his consistency in qualifying and the first part of the race to ensure he's right there at the front this weekend.

"I will try to improve my overall performance at Donington because, even though third was ok at Assen, I was not so satisfied with the race. The main thing to work on for me is the beginning of the race where sometimes I have not been so strong. And making better use of the practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday will help with this too. Donington is not my favourite track, although they have improved the surface and made it less bumpy. I can imagine that the extra speed on the MotoGP bike will make for some really hard braking into the Esses and the hairpins towards the end of the lap. And it's going to be tough to control the bike because there will be a lot of wheelying on the exit of those corners as well. The other thing to consider is the weather. We'll have to wait to see what it does as last year it was raining – a lot."

MotoGP, 2006, GAS BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Repsol Honda Team

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