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Honda take varied approach to first night in Qatar

Honda take varied approach to first night in Qatar

Mixed strategies for Honda six as rain hits Losail International Circuit.

All six of Honda’s MotoGP riders were present at the Losail International Circuit on Sunday night, although their approaches and reactions to the rain-hit test opener wildly contrasted.

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa had the most conservative strategy for the Sunday run, deciding against putting in any laps. The Spaniard had departed early from the last test in Sepang, and took the same cautious approach as he continues to focus on building up fitness and starting the season injury-free.

Making nearly the same decision was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Toni Elias, who put in an out lap, two full turns of the track and subsequently an in lap before aborting the session.

“We decided not to test because the track was dirty, so we decided to spare the tyres for tomorrow,” said Elias, back behind the bars of the factory-spec RC212V.

Fastest of the Honda riders was Alex de Angelis, Elias’ teammate with the satellite version of the bike. He cited rapid tyre deterioration as the reason for his return to the garage after fifteen laps, the fastest of which gave him a time of 2’01.074.

Rookie Yuki Takahashi was the next Honda on the timesheet, with the most laps of the sextet to his name, whilst the only man to draw a fully positive conclusion from the day was LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet, who found a better riding position to that which troubled him in Sepang.

The night was best summed up by Andrea Dovizioso, who felt more of a need to get further testing laps under his belt despite the adverse conditions.

"It was a strange day: finding rain conditions in the desert is very unusual. It was a pity. We only did a few laps even if the track conditions were not good, but I wanted to gather some data and be ready for tomorrow,” said the Italian of his fifteen-lap stint.

“This is a demanding track, with long turns and it is important to test here, especially in preparation of the championship and the first race.”

MotoGP, 2009, Randy de Puniet, Alex de Angelis, Andrea Dovizioso, Yuki Takahashi, Dani Pedrosa, LCR Honda MotoGP, San Carlo Honda Gresini, Scot Racing Team MotoGP, Repsol Honda Team

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