When the first official test of the 2011 MotoGP Championship finished at Sepang on Feb. 4, San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama managed a seventh overall.
The test results gave the Japanese MotoGP rider much confidence, and Aoyama thinks him, his team and the RC212V are capable of top-five finishes in 2011.
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.
MotoGP Test Quotes
The MotoGP grid was on the track Tuesday for the first time of 2011, testing their prototype motorcycles at Sepang in Malaysia.
The fastest rider during the first of the three-day test was Respol Honda MotoGP rider Casey Stoner. The Australian was the only MotoGP rider to post a time below the 2:02 mark.
• Casey Stoner is starting from pole for the third time in 2009. On each of the other two occasions he has started on pole this year, in Qatar and Australia, he has gone on to win the race. If he takes the race victory in Valencia, he will be the only MotoGP rider to take three successive wins in 2009.
• Dani Pedrosa, who has won in all three classes at Valencia, is starting from the front row for the tenth time in 2009.
• For the first time this year there are no Yamaha riders qualified either in first or second place on the grid.
MotoGP Race Report: Catalunya
As at Jerez and Le Mans, Spanish riders have taken all three pole positions; however no Spanish rider has won from pole this year. The weekend in Catalunya turned out to be action packed in all three classes.
Pleae read on for all the full race summary in MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc. We have also included a photo gallery.
250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli has confirmed his intension to move to MotoGP for 2010.
Marco Simoncelli Speaks…
"I think that I will go to MotoGP; having spoken a little with everyone I am now evaluating the situation. It is still to be decided, let’s say."
"Apart from Suzuki (a manufacturer with no satellite outfit in the premier class), the impossibility of a rookie riding for a factory team next year has changed the plans. What happens with the other possibilities remains to be seen."
Arai has introduced a new mid-season addition to its 2009 street-helmet line. Called the Aoyama Replica, it is the design used by 250cc GP front-runner Hiroshi Aoyama, and is available on Arai’s new cutting-edge Corsair-V model. It will now be arriving in Arai dealers nationwide.
The bright red/black/grey graphic is designed "to match nothing, but go with everything." The Corsair-V that will carry the new Aoyama replica is Arai’s newest top-of-the line helmet, introduced just this year.
27 – Hiroshi Aoyama’s victory at Jerez was the first win by Honda in the 250cc class since Andrea Dovizioso won at Donington in 2007 – a run of 27 races without a win which is the longest barren sequence for Honda in the 250cc class since they re-entered the class in 1985.
21 – Niccolo Canepa celebrates his 21st birthday the day before practice starts for the French GP.