Stoner, Pedrosa & Dovi to Aragon MotoGP

2011 Repsol Honda MotoGP

As the 2011 MotoGP Championship heads to the Motorland Aragon circuit for the second consecutive year, the Repsol Honda boys – Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso – are leading the points race, holding three of the top four positions.

After winning seven of 13 rounds, the Australian Stoner leads the championship with 259 points, 35 over the reigning MotoGP Champion, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. With the five remaining rounds throttling into action this weekend at Aragon, Stoner has a great odds for taking a second MotoGP championship to add to his 2007 title while on the Ducati.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “I’ve managed to rest since the hard race in Misano, where I was totally worn out. The hectic schedule we follow had drained me completely and I had no energy, nothing left to give, so I’ve enjoyed relaxing this past week and getting back to some training.

“The Aragon track is ok, it’s not one of my favorite MotoGP circuits, I feel it could be a little faster. We ran well there last year, mainly due to the fact we took a big step in the set up on the bike. This year we arrive there with a totally different bike so we have a lot of things to learn in FP1, getting the gearbox set up right and a few other things in general.

“It will be interesting to go there on the Honda, Dani was competitive there last year and I think we can work well there also, and expect a good result. We’ll get there and see what we can do.”

As Stoner leads Lorenzo by 35 points in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, Dovizioso trails Lorenzo by 39 points. Dovi has finished fifth or better in 12 of 13 races, which includes five podiums. The Italian is coming off a fifth-place finish at Misano two weekends ago.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “We arrive in Aragon third in the Championship looking to close the gap to Lorenzo in second, but also needing to defend from Dani in fourth. I like Motorland Aragon, the circuit is very nice and it’s fun to ride.

“The key characteristic is the downhill braking areas and it has some similarities to the Istanbul circuit with interesting corners and changes of direction. It’s not so fast but all in all I like to race there.

“Last year it was a new track so I think that with one year of experience we can be even more competitive. Last year I crashed on the very last lap while I was fighting with Ben Spies for 5th position, this year we arrive confident that we can have a strong race.”

Pedrosa enters Aragon, one of four home races for the Spaniard, in fourth position in the 2011 MotoGP standings. Pedrosa currently has 150 points, 35 behind Dovizioso. Pedrosa currently has two wins – Portugal and Germany – but has taken second in the last two rounds in Misano and Indy.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “I have very good memories of the Grand Prix of Aragon, last year we started well and we had a good race. I’m satisfied with our performance in the past few weeks and I feel better every day. This week I’ve been able to rest and recover some energy and now I’m really looking forward to this race.

“People from all around Spain attend the Aragon GP and the atmosphere there is incredible. The circuit is spectacular and very technical, it combines fast and slow corners, some of them complicated and blind where you need to find points of reference outside the track.

“We need to set up the bike very well for this track and make the most of all the practice sessions. The data we have from last year can help us on this and it will be important to start in a good direction but we cannot relax.

“I’m excited to see the Spanish fans again after missing the Catalunya race and I hope the home support will give me an extra boost so that we can enjoy this race together.”

The Repsol MotoGP trio will be on the Aragon circuit Friday for the first of three free practices ahead of Sunday’s race.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).