Repsol Honda Team head to Assen still leading the Championship after positive test in Aragon
Dani Pedrosa will arrive in Assen for this week’s Dutch TT, leading the Championship after six rounds of the 2013 season. His teammate, Marc Marquez, is 3rd after another impressive podium finish in Catalunya just 9 days ago.
A favourite for the fans and for the riders, Assen is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. Both Repsol Honda riders have enjoyed good results in Assen with Dani taking seven podium finishes there including a victory in 2002 (125cc). Marc has a fantastic recent history at the circuit having won in 2012 (Moto2), 2011 (Moto2) and also in 2010 (125cc).
Last week, Honda Racing Corporation tested their new 2014 prototype machine in Aragon. The bike has been introduced earlier than normal due to the absence of the usual Brno post-race test after the Summer break. If the team had waited until the Misano test (16th September) it would be too late to make any big changes as a result of the feedback from factory riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
The test was positive and both Dani and Marc had similar comments about the 2014 RC213V, as did LCR’s Stefan Bradl. As well as normal upgrades to the bike, HRC have had to target specific regulation changes such as a smaller fuel tank for 2014 (by 1 litre), in addition to other areas that the factory riders have requested be developed.
Both riders have chosen not to use this new evolution immediately, as they are happy with the current bike, leaving HRC some time to perfect the new prototype and allowing the riders to concentrate on their current programme and fight for the World Championship.
The race weekend in Assen begins on Thursday with Qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday, as it was originally frowned upon for the race to be hosted on Sunday for religious reasons.
Dani Pedrosa – Championship Standing: 1st – 123 points
“After a good race in Catalunya and an important 20 points, I still lead the Championship and I am looking forward to Assen. I won my first ever race there and have very special memories. The weather can be temperamental so I hope we get some dry track time on Friday to find a good setting! It is a good track but it’s important to have a good feeling with the tyres because there are several fast corners. I hope we can keep the momentum going and do a good race”
Marc Marquez – Championship Standing: 3rd – 93 points
“I had a difficult weekend in Catalunya but in the race, riding behind Dani, I was able to learn many things. The Aragon test was useful and we were able to solve some problems we’ve experienced in the last few races and also get to know the Honda RC213V a lot better! I know the weather in Assen can be unpredictable so it will be important to make the most of the dry track time we have. I like the circuit and I am feeling really good at the moment so it will be interesting to get there on the MotoGP machine!”
Shuhei Nakamoto – HRC Executive Vice President
“The test of the RC213V 2014 prototype has been very constructive. Dani, Marc and Stefan all gave us similar comments regarding the positive and negative aspects of the new bike and these will be very important in order to proceed with the development for next season. This test has also been very useful to work with the set up of the current bike and help Dani and Marc find something they both like. The fact that they are happy with the 2013 version of the RC213V puts no pressure on us to race with the new prototype, so we will continue with its development as planned, and will be back in Europe to the test after Misano or for the one after Valencia”
Source: Repsol Honda Team