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Hayden and Pedrosa preparing to end Repsol Honda winless streak

Hayden and Pedrosa preparing to end Repsol Honda winless streak

The Repsol Honda team head to Turkey this week on the hunt for their first win of the season.

The Repsol Honda team head to Turkey this week on the hunt for their first win of the season. The Honda factory outfit have not taken victory since World Champion Nicky Hayden's triumph at Laguna Seca in July of 2006, but have been anything but unsuccessful in the following eight races. Numerous podium finishes and a World Championship have been racked up during the winless streak, and in Istanbul Park the team now arrive at a track where they have seen considerable success.

Nicky Hayden has not been off the podium in two visits to the Turkish track, taking third at every race since 2005. Last year he qualified second in extremely wet conditions, and this year he will be hoping that Istanbul Park will be the scene of his season turnaround.

"It's been a good few weeks off and so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into it in Turkey and really getting the summer started," noted the rested ‘Trick Daddy'. Istanbul Park is quite a cool track, especially with that fast 5th gear corner. On the 990cc bike that corner was wild, though on these bikes it might not really be a corner any more – it'll be interesting to see how the 800s feel through there. It's a really good track and I like the layout because it's got some serious elevation changes. Turn one's really technical and TV doesn't really do that corner justice. People at home on the couch don't really see how blind the entry is and what a drop off there is, so that's pretty fun. It's been a decent track to me in the past and I'm looking forward to racing there again. We're going to stay positive and keep working hard to get up front. I've got a good team behind me and we're giving it all we've got to make the improvements we need to take a step forward."

Dani Pedrosa is aiming to end a dry run of his own in Turkey. The Spaniard is on his longest winless streak since his first ever Grand Prix victory in 125cc, but must fancy his chances of a race win after a sterling performance at the track last year. Despite the fact that he crashed on the last lap, Pedrosa had previously been challenging for the top spot with Marco Melandri and Casey Stoner, who had previously edged him out in the 2005 250cc race. Pedrosa arrives in Turkey as the third placed rider in the classification, level on points with Stoner.

"I'm feeling ready for this race because there has been a big break and I'm sure all the riders are excited about the weekend," commented Pedrosa. "We haven't tested the new 800cc bikes at this track, unlike in Qatar and Spain, so everyone will face the same questions: what to do and how to do it with regard to the bike, tyres and the whole package. We will have to see if the weather works in our favour to make this process easier and allows us to make good use of all of the practice time. Last year we had really cold conditions so I hope this year it will be a little warmer. The track is quite smooth – there are just two or three corners where there are some bumps – and the tarmac and grip levels are quite good. This year I hope to have a better qualifying practice and a better result in the race because last year I came from the back in the race to lead, but I finished near the back again! So I hope to improve on this. With the new tyre rules it's difficult to predict how things will work out. A lot will depend on the meeting with Michelin on Thursday when we will look at the tyre plan and the weather forecast and decide on the strategy – whether to go for a risky one or elect for safety. It should be an interesting weekend for everyone."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY, Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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