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Repsol Honda complete Qatar with strong one-two

Repsol Honda complete Qatar with strong one-two

Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were the only two riders under 1'56” on the final day of the MotoGP Test, with Andrea Dovizioso fifth on the timesheet.

The Official Winter Tests came to a close today at the Losail circuit in Qatar after a sandstorm blew through the circuit hours before testing commenced.

Once the winds had settled, the riders took to the track and conditions started to improve. Casey Stoner continued his programme from yesterday and found the ideal rider position on his RC212V, the remainder of the session was spent alternating between the softer and harder compound tyres. Stoner topped the timing sheets for the final day of testing with a time of 1'55.681 which he set on lap 40 of 46.

Pedrosa finishing second for the evening with a time of 1'55.745, he tested the 2011 front fork and also completed a half-race distance run of 10 laps - testing the softer compound tyre and finished the session working on set-up ahead of this weekends season opening Grand Prix. Andrea Dovizioso made a race simulation and continued set-up work to be in the best possible shape for the coming weekend.

Casey Stoner, 1st, 1'55.681:
"I'm really happy, I didn't think we would get any laps in tonight judging from the weather earlier in the day, it was a little tough but the wind seemed to settle and the track conditions improved a lot and we got some good test time in tonight. By the look of the lap times everyone seems to have taken a big step forward, but we're happy with what we've achieved again here and we can enter the race weekend with confidence but at the same time everyone else will be improving their set-up so we can't relax. We found a good rider position which I'm really happy with, having moved my position more towards the rear in Sepang - to try and find more grip, here we can run a more neutral set-up and everything seems to be working well. We did some more work on electronics tonight and also on the tyres, but generally worked in preparation for the weekend.”

Dani Pedrosa, 2nd, 1'55.745:
"The conditions seemed very difficult when we arrived at the circuit today as it was so windy and on the way here the road was full of sand, but we managed to finally complete a good test. It was very windy out on track and quite difficult to ride at maximum, but the grip was not so bad. It was cooler than yesterday and we improved our lap times, which is positive. Today we tried the new front fork, we have continued to work with electronics and have tried both the hard and the softer tyres. We kept the good feeling we had at Sepang, the test here in Qatar also went well in general and we go to the first race with a competitive bike, but for the Grand Prix we will have to keep working hard because nobody will give away anything.”

Andrea Dovizioso, 5th, 1'56.439:
“It was a strange day of testing: at the beginning it was very windy and the track was dirty, but fortunately we managed to test. We worked on electronics and also on the set-up of the bike to improve the corner entry and at around 22.00 we did a race simulation. The temperatures today were cooler than yesterday with the ground reaching 18 degrees. We used the hard tyre for the whole session and maybe this strategy was a mistake. In the past it was not possible to use the soft compound on this track whereas it seems possible this year. Only myself and Lorenzo made a race simulation so it’s difficult to compare the lap times with the other riders. If we look at the lap times, the gap to Casey and Dani is too big. I think this is because we used different tyres and did different work, for the race weekend we should be closer. Of course we need to keep working but I feel that we arrive at the first round competitive.”

Repsol Honda press release

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

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