Today the Repsol Honda Team officially kicked off the 2012 MotoGP season with the first of three days testing at the Sepang Circuit, Malaysia
Due to early morning rain, the track conditions were not good enough to go out on track until midday when HRC test rider, Kosuke Akiyoshi performed the first 10 laps on Dani Pedrosa’s bike and then jumped onto Casey Stoner’s machine to complete a further 4 laps and confirm that everything was working well.
Dani set the second fastest laptime of the day with a 2’02.003 and completed a total of 48 laps on a bike similar to the one he tested in Valencia in November.
Dani was the only Repsol Honda rider on track with the new RC213V as current World Champion, Casey, pulled his back whilst warming up and preparing to go on track for the first time this season. The Australian rider received some treatment from a physiotherapist and after resting this evening he will hopefully feel better tomorrow and be able to begin his testing program.
2nd at 0.346 sec. 48 laps, 266 km.
“Today was good, for the first laps I think it was important for me to come back and just ride again. Of course, the first day I was a little bit stiff, not totally smooth on the bike, but we completed some laps and they were good. Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. The whole day I stayed with the same bike that I tested in Valencia in November and tomorrow the real test will start for us, we will work on the set up and probably try a modified chassis that Honda has brought here according to our requests after Valencia”.
“I was stretching this morning for a good twenty minutes preparing to go out on track for the first time and then all of a sudden my back just locked up on me, I couldn’t move or do anything. I had to call someone to come and help me move into a position that was less painful! Then I had some physio on it straight away trying to get it better for this afternoon but it’s wasn’t feeling good. I had some more physio after lunch but it still wasn’t easing up, I felt I could have gone out on the bike in the afternoon but we all agreed it would probably make it worse for tomorrow. We have two more days testing here in Sepang, we know the track well and we are getting to know the bike, we just need some time to test the new parts we have here to give feedback to HRC. I think tomorrow the track conditions will be better and as long as my back improves overnight we should get back on schedule with our testing programme tomorrow”.