After the first official test of the year, the Repsol Honda trio of Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, along with Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama, flew directly from Sepang Malaysia to Tokyo Japan where they took part in a gala event to mark the start of the 2011 MotoGP motorcycle racing season.
Also present was Gresini Racing Moto2’s Yuki Takahashi, who represented the spec-engine 600cc riders, the MotoGP class where Honda is the official engine supplier.
The Welcome Plaza headquarters of Honda Motor Company in Tokyo was the setting for the Japanese factory’s presentation of its 2011 HRC racing program, which included national and international activities involving both motorcycle and motorsports racing.
During the event, at which Honda Motor Company President and CEO Takanobu Ito was present, the three Honda rider’s gave their thoughts about 2011 GP season.
Dani Pedrosa (MotoGP RC212V) says: "I am very satisfied both with the result of the Sepang Test and the condition of my shoulder after the operation this winter."
"The most important thing is to continue working hard and learning, which is the only way to improve and to get better each year. I hope to be consistent and get good results in every race."
Andrea Dovizioso (MotoGP RC212V) says: "I never started a season at such a high level. The times achieved correspond to those normally recorded at the second Test. This demonstrates the intense work carried out by HRC, and all the Honda riders were very fast."
Casey Stoner (MotoGP RC212V) says: "very excited to be back at Honda. To form part of the official HRC team is like realizing a dream which I’ve had since I was very young. They have provided me with a package of the highest level, and that fills me with great hope heading into the season".
The Australian rider continues: "Logically the main favorite this year is Jorge Lorenzo, the reigning World Champion, but the list of hopefuls this year is very long. Dani is always there, Andrea has improved a lot, you also have to say Simoncelli after the times he set in Sepang.
"There is Spies, of course Valentino, so there are lots of riders with hopes, we have to wait for the first race to have a clear idea where each of us stand."