MotoGP Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa spent two days in Indonesia after the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, visiting the Sentul circuit as guest instructor at the Honda Racing School.
The Spanish three-time world champion gave some valuable advice to the 16 lucky Indonesian students, aged between 11 and 15. Pedrosa also gave a few demonstration laps on a 110cc Honda Blade with the colors of the Repsol Honda Team, one of the bikes used by the school as the head instructor’s, Noburu Ueda – former 125cc Grand Prix champion for Honda.
Pedrosa, who is currently second in the MotoGP World Championship standings, flew directly from San Francisco after the weekend’s race in Laguna Seca. He went directly to the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, and then he traveled to Sentul, 40 km south of the city.
The students at the Honda Race School and over a thousand fans watched Pedrosa do a series of laps of the Sentul kart circuit.
After the demonstration, the Repsol Honda Team rider gave the young aspiring riders some advice based on his experience of starting to race when he was just a boy.
After spending some time teaching the students at the Honda Racing School, Pedrosa commented that he has always connected with and got on well with children.
Dani Pedrosa says: “I don’t know why, but I always feel very comfortable with them,” he said. “And perhaps in the future, I’ll also think about working on some type of project, like my manager Alberto Puig when he started with MoviStar Cup.”
This was Pedrosa’s first visit to Indonesia and the first official visit of a Honda MotoGP rider to the fourth most populated country in the world.
After his visit to Indonesia, Pedrosa will go back home to Switzerland to rest and relax before the MotoGP World Championship resumes on Aug. 15 at Brno in the Czech Republic.
The Honda Racing School in Sentul accepts children aged between 11 and 15 to take them from beginner level to expert and teach them the skills and discipline needed to win races. The project is backed by the Suzuka Racing School.
The emerging Indonesian market is a significant market in which Honda is expanding and strengthening its motorbike production. Two weeks ago, Honda President, Mr. Takanobu Ito, announced that Honda will increase motorbike production in Indonesia from 3.3 million to 3.5 million by the end of the year. He also explained that in 2011, Honda will have built a new factory in order to increase annual motorbike production to 4 million.
In 2009, the Indonesian motorbike market, among all manufacturers, reached around 5.6 million machines, where Honda has a 46% share. Between 1971, when Honda set up its first manufacturing alliance in Indonesia and 2009, Honda produced 25 million motorbikes in Indonesia.
Dani Pedrosa says: “It was great fun riding the 110cc Blade. Obviously, it has very low horsepower compared to my RC212V, but I think that it’s great for the children to start understanding how to ride a motorbike, get to grips with the gears and the riding style needed. The best advice I can give them is to follow their instinct from the heart and to have fun on the bike. They have an opportunity in life, so they must remember that and give it their all. When I started, I was also very small, but full of passion.”
“I would never have imagined that I would race in the World Championship, but I was very lucky to be part of a project – like them now -, so they must go on dreaming and work hard to make their dreams come true. I was really surprised by how many people in Indonesia watch MotoGP. They are very passionate and know everything about the championship. It’s a beautiful country, the people are very friendly and everyone has told me that I must come back and visit Bali. Now, I’ll go home, visit my family and have fun with my friends, after so many races in such a short time. And then, my team and I will have to get ready for the second half of the season and to win races.”