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Repsol Honda trio delighted with strong finish to Test

Repsol Honda trio delighted with strong finish to Test

Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were all extremely happy with how well the three days at Sepang went.

The final day in Sepang witnessed an incredible display of speed from all three Repsol Honda riders. Within 10 minutes of the track opening for the final day's testing, Casey Stoner on his first flying lap of the day recorded a time of 2'00.122 – five-hundredths faster than his quickest lap on day two. However, on his next lap, Stoner put in a sub two minute lap of 1'59.665 almost a second quicker than the circuit best lap recorded in 2009, which remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.

Within 15 minutes of this incredible feat Dani Pedrosa also lit up the timing sheets as he clocked a time of 1'59.803, putting the two Repsol Honda riders out of reach from the rest of the pack. Thirds Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was fourth in 2'00.541, with all three times recorded in the first 45 minutes of the day.

After this virtual qualifying session, the teams resumed the normal testing programme. Stoner spent the day working on his engine management system and his final chassis comparison check, making a final choice in which direction to take ahead of the Qatar test on the 13th and 14th March. Pedrosa also worked on engine mappings and then further suspension work in the morning. In the afternoon he concentrated on completing a long run, although not race simulation. Dovizioso made further chassis comparisons, geometric changes and tried a few electronic settings to assist corner entry, in the afternoon he also did a long run.

Casey Stoner, 1st:

"We had a good day comparing the chassis again and I'm happy we have made our decision on which one we'll use for the season. We also tried a lot of electronics with engine braking and found improvements in a few areas, and some losses in others so we need to rectify these. The chassis we've chosen always behaves in the way we want it to, no matter what set-up we use, we are also able to adapt it fairly easily. So when we get to Qatar in a few weeks we'll be able to test different set-up's at the same time and get more track time on it. Some changes can be quite time consuming to do, so having the two bikes with identical chassis will be useful. The test here has been very productive for us, we did a long run here today - almost race distance - and gathered some key information. I'm feeling more and more comfortable on the RC212V and I can't wait to get to Qatar.”

Dani Pedrosa, 2nd:

"We did a very good three days testing; both tests here in Sepang have been very positive. We improved the braking and worked a lot with different chassis configurations and electronics. It's been a much better winter test than last year, even we know that everybody will improve for the first race. I'm leaving Sepang satisfied and I think testing in Qatar will give further opportunity to check our work at another circuit, with a different layout and track conditions to what we have had here. I've spent more or less the same time with last year's chassis and the modified 2011 chassis and my best lap time was with the 2011 version, but it will be nice to check it again in Qatar and take the final decision there. I think the bike and myself are in a good shape and we are getting to Qatar with more confidence than last year, but we need to keep our feet on the ground because we had many problems at the beginning of last season and then we improved a lot, so the others can do the same. Nothing is clear until we start racing.”

Andrea Dovizioso, 4th:

"The good point is that we are really fast, and to have the first two tests like this is a great thing. Also, when we tried the race simulation we were fast so this is confirmed that we are strong and can fight. However, after completing the simulation I discovered a problem in the front - as I had in some races in 2009 - after a few laps I lose some grip in the middle of the corner. I will leave this test very happy but we're far from perfect, we need to study what we changed that caused this problem as it occurred after we added just five litres more of fuel. Anyway, even with this problem I completed many fast laps and we are very fast compared to last year. I feel without the problem I had in the front of the bike, I would be able to achieve a similar pace to Dani and Casey, so I'm happy about this.”

Repsol Honda press release

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

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