HRC Repsol

MotoGP – Repsol duo left disappointed at Misano

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In a closely fought qualifying battle for the San Marino GP, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez lost out on pole position by just a tenth of a second, with teammate Dani Pedrosa missing out on a front row spot by seven hundredths of a second.

With such a short lap – 4.2km – Marquez opted for a three-run strategy to give himself the best chance to fight for pole. Lorenzo took provisional pole on his first exit, with Marquez slotting in just behind him in second. Pedrosa then leapfrogged his teammate into second spot as the riders began to enter the pits for fresh rubber.

On Marquez’s flying lap of his second run, he made an error and immediately re-entered the pits for his final fresh tyre, with enough time for two flying laps. Lorenzo improved again and despite his best efforts and improving on his first run time by almost four tenths, Marquez had to settle for second place with his time of 1’32.252 (lap 7/8). Pedrosa also improved on his final exit with his time of 1’32.434 (lap 7/9) but missed the front row by just 0.076 seconds to Rossi.

Marquez said: “I’m not happy with the qualifying session I had. I think I could have improved my time, but sometimes things do not go as you hope. The important thing is that, despite this, we will start from the front row in second and we’re only a tenth off Jorge. Tomorrow I expect a tough race as Jorge, Valentino and Dani have great pace, but we will try to keep in the fight until the end.”

Teammate Pedrosa said: “It was a bit of a strange qualifying session because I made some mistakes at a couple of points on the track, and could have done a little better. Now we have to focus on tomorrow; we will try to have the best first lap possible and come out strong, to keep position and push for the best pace we can can get throughout the entire race.”

The 28 lap race will begin at 14h00 local time.

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MotoGP – Pedrosa suffers massive high side but escapes injury at Brno

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A leaky front fork caused Dani Pedrosa to have a massive highside at Brno but for once the Spanish rider walked way without suffering serious injuries.

Pedrosa crashed early in the afternoon’s practice session – on just his second lap – after some oil leaked from his front fork as he rode through turn 13. He visited the medical centre for an x-ray where they confirmed there was no fracture but heavy bruising to the left ankle. He finished the day fourth overall in the combined times with 1’56.784 (FP1).

He said: “I had a problem with the front fork which I didn’t realise until some oil hit the rear wheel as I was leaning over to the right into turn fourteen. The bike threw me off quite violently and I took a big knock to my left foot. I went to Clinica Mobile for a check-up and they performed an x-ray on my left ankle. Thankfully they confirmed there was no break or fracture, just a heavy contusion so I will have some treatment tonight and see how the situation is in the morning.”

there was no fracture but heavy bruising to the left ankle. He finished the day 4th in the combined times with 1’56.784 (FP1).there was no fracture but heavy bruising to the left ankle. He finished the day 4th in the combined times with 1’56.784 (FP1).

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MotoGP – Marquez stops the rot at Assen

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez experienced  a return to form after a strong another performance at Assen at the Dutch TT.

A resurgent Marquez is clearly getting to grips with the hybrid 2015/2014 race bike and had a good start to the race, moving up to second place behind Valentino Rossi on the first lap. The  Spaniard then shadowed Rossi for 19 laps, looking a lot more comfortable and composed on the mongrel bike and even set a new fastest lap record on lap four of 1’33.617 (Beating Dani’s 2012 time of 1’34.548) before making his move with seven laps remaining, taking the lead.

The fight for the lead exploded into life with just three laps to go, a small mistake in the last chicane allowed Rossi to pass Marquez and try to open up a gap. Marquez wouldn’t be denied and dug deep to recover four tenths of a second in the last lap to Rossi and made a hard move into the last chicane on the final lap. The two riders touched Rossi was able to pick the bike up, riding through the gravel trap, beating Marquez to the finish line.

Marquez said: “I am very happy that I’m back on the podium and I had a good race, fighting for victory until the end. I think it was a moral victory for us, but we were riding at the limit on the last chicane. We have worked very well all weekend and I have to thank the team, because you regain confidence when you’re with the best team in the World. They are helping me a lot and this was shown by the fact that, at a track where we are usually not so strong, we fought for the win until the last corner. We’ll see if we can take another step forward in the coming races. We rode a last lap to win the race, especially on the last chicane. I had studied things well and knew where I had to brake in order to be able to overtake Vale, and so I did that but didn’t end like I wanted….”

After the official post-race press conference, Marquez and Valentino were called into race direction for a rider hearing and to review the video footage. It was agreed this was a racing incident and no appeal has been lodged.

MotoGP – mixed fortunes for Respol Hondas at Mugello

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It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda riders, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, with Pedrosa finishing in an impressive fourth place while Marc Marquez crashed out.

Starting seventh on the grid, Pedrosa lost a few places, briefly dropping down to ninth on the first lap. Marquez, starting from 13th place – the first time he has not qualified on the first or second row in the premiere class – got off to a lightning start and moved up to sixth in the first few corners and up to fourth by the end of the first lap, with Pedrosa running in 8th.

Pedrosa continued to catch the leading group, passing Cal Crutchlow, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith to find himself in fifth by lap four. Meanwhile, Jorge Lorenzo opened up a lead at the front as Marquez battled with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. By lap twelve Pedrosa had latched on to the battle for second and the four riders swapped positions consistently over the course of the following five laps.

However, on lap eighteen after battling with Iannone, Marquez made a small mistake and crashed out in turn three. This briefly promoted Pedrosa to third before Valentino Rossi passed him and demoted Pedrosa to fourth, where he eventually finished the race.

A downbeat Marquez said: “It was a shame about the crash today, because I had already done the hardest part! I’m happy because I was able to carry out our plan, which was to try to recover positions on the first five laps. We were up into second place after four laps, but when the tyre grip went down we had a similar problem to before, with the tyre sliding on corner entry.

“I was on the limit and when you are pushing at the maximum sometimes things happen like they did today. We have dropped quite far behind in the standings, but Honda are working hard and together we will keep pushing to improve the feeling with the bike for the second half of the season.”

Pedrosa was in  buoyant mood after scoring valuable points and testing fitness of his arm. He said: “I’m happy overall, especially because my forearm is getting better all the time. Today I had a fairly good race, right through to the end. I was able to fight with some other riders and confirm that every week I’m getting better. It has been positive. Now we have to work on the bike to try to develop it and get better results at the coming races!”

Tomorrow Marc and Dani will be back on track for a post-race test with the new 2016 tyre supplier, before heading west for round seven in Barcelona in two weeks time.

MotoGP – Pedrosa to race at Le Mans

2014/04/13 - mgp - Round02 - Austin - MotoGP - Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda - RC213V - Action

2014/04/13 – mgp – Round02 – Austin – MotoGP – Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda – RC213V – Action

After a three race absence, this weekend Dani Pedrosa will return to race alongside Marc Marquez for the Repsol Honda Team in Le Mans.

Pedrosa received surgery to his right arm to alleviate discomfort from chronic arm pump and as a result missed the races in the Americas, Argentina and Spain, but returns in Le Mans for round five of the 2015 World Championship.

Pedrosa said: “I’ve been doing a lot of therapy in the past few weeks since the operation and I am improving step by step. I’m beginning to feel stronger and looking forward to getting back on the bike – after all, this is the best way to check the feeling after all the rehabilitation work. It will be good to get back to my team and catch up with them all after this time and of course to see all the fans in Le Mans, so let’s hope the weather is kind to us again like in 2014.”

The Le Mans Bugatti circuit is very stop-and-go, with plenty of slow turns where braking and acceleration performance are crucial. Riders and their engineers concentrate on honing their machines’ stability during braking, as well as improving rear-end traction for the numerous hairpin exits. The 4.18km circuit features the same start-finish straight as the Le Mans 24hr event and a blindingly fast right-hander leading to the famous Dunlop chicane. Following this quick start to the lap, the stop-start character becomes evident, with a slow right-hander leading on to the main straight. It is one of nine right hand turns, and four lefts.

Pedrosa has always gone well at Le Mans and will be hoping for a fairytale return – he has finished on the podium seven times including an emphatic win in atrocious conditions during the MotoGP race in 2013 and three victories in the lower classes (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc).

MotoGP – Repsol HRC squad with no official riders at Jerez?

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Repsol Honda could be forced to field two stand-in riders this weekend as both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are out injured and may be incapable of racing.

Pedrosa underwent an operation to fix the chronic arm pump that plagued him during the season opener in Qatar. This problem, common among motorcycle racers, is a build-up of pressure in the forearm causing great pain, and makes riding a bike exceptionally difficult when the muscle becomes too big for the ‘sack’ that it sits in. And although the operation has been described as being ‘successful’, it may be too soon for Pedrosa to make a return.

The Repsol team’s rider problems are further compounded by reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez breaking his little finger in his left hand in a dirt track training accident. And although he underwent a successful operation to fix a titanium plate to his finger, there is still a possibility that Marquez won’t be race fit at Jerez.

That would leave the HRC squad a rider short – Aoyama would continue to deputise for Pedrosa, but who would fill Marquez’s boots? HRC’s official test rider Stoner? WSBK’s Van Der Mark? Watch this space…

MotoGP – Marquez dominates qualifying in Argentina

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez clinched his 24th MotoGP pole position – and second in a row – for tomorrow’s twenty-five lap race in Argentina after delivering a sensational riding masterclass.

With track temperatures almost doubling since the morning’s FP3 session, Marquez, who has been fastest all day, opted for a three-stop strategy in Q2, in order to try and exploit the maximum from each new tyre. He was able to improve on each exit and his pole time of 1’37.802 was over half a second faster than second place Aleix Espargaro on the Suzuki , and only 0.119 off his 2014 pole record.

Marquez said: “I am happy today, because we were able to fight for pole and eventually got it. It was a lot of fun, because we used a three-tyre strategy and it worked well. It was important to start from the front tomorrow, because the track is quite dirty and that makes it harder to overtake. We’ll see what happens, we expect a pretty tough race with even higher temperatures than today. My strongest rivals – Jorge and Valentino – are starting from the second row, so I hope to have a good start and a strong race.”

Tomorrow’s race starts at 4pm local time.

MotoGP – Marquez bounces back with dominant display

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez returned to his magnificent best as he dominated the field at the Red Bull GP of The Americas.

Marquez, who secured pole with a truly sensational lap, dropped back briefly from the start to second place behind Dovizioso but quickly found his rhythm and blasted to the front.

With Rossi and Iannone fighting with Dovizioso, Marquez never looked back and led from the front for the remainder of the race – taking his 20th victory in the MotoGP class.

There win means Marquez has won on all six occasions that he has raced in the MotoGP class in the USA, and Honda celebrated their 11th consecutive win on American soil. The last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the USA was Jorge Lorenzo, at Laguna Seca in 2010.

Marquez said: “I am very happy with this victory. After yesterday, things looked positive for us, but the only doubt was about the weather. In the end, it turned out stranger than it had seemed. When I saw that it was going to be a dry race, I started out very focused – because I knew it was important to try to win today. However, right from the first lap I saw that the track was not like it had been before the rain of last night. There was less grip and it was harder to ride comfortably. I decided to keep calm in the early laps to try to understand the situation well, and when I started to find a feeling similar to practice, I decided to push the pace a bit. That was when I was able to open up a gap.”

The MotoGP circus now heads straight to Argentina for the third round of 2015.

MotoGP – Repsol qualify second and third in Qatar

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Repsol Honda Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez will start tomorrow’s season opener Qatar from second and third on the grid respectively.

Pedrosa was the first rider to pull the pin and a hot lap in the Q2 session and then immediately went even quicker to improve on his second flying lap with his time of 1’54.330, placing him on provisional pole. Marquez then set a time of 1’54.437 on his first fast lap to slot in behind Dani in second place as the riders returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre.

On their second run, neither Repsol Honda rider was able to improve their time but missed out on a 1-2 start in the dying moments as Andrea Dovizioso went top of the time sheets with his lap of 1’54.113, using the super soft tyre.

Pedrosa said: “I am very happy with today’s qualifying session and it was very important to get onto the front row. It was fantastic, because I think that it was one of my fastest laps at this track. It was vital to set a good lap time today, without making any mistakes, due to the fact that at this track all the times are very close together. Now we have to focus for the race.”

Marquez said: “Our objective was to get onto the front row and we succeeded, so I’m happy. Of course, you always want to do more, and I would have liked to have set a better lap, but we have a good setup for tomorrow and a good pace, which is the most important thing. It will be difficult to keep up with Andrea because, besides a fast one-off lap, he also has good race pace. We will try to ride our own race and fight for the win.”

The riders have a brief 20-minute warm up session tomorrow at 5pm local time and then the 22 lap race will begin at 9pm local time.

MotoGP – Repsol duo off to a flyer

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The 2015 season has officially begun in Losail with reigning world champion Marc Marquez finishing the first practice session at the top of the time sheets.

With track conditions surprisingly good on this first day – considering the rain that has fallen in the past week – the MotoGP class were immediately on the pace with Dani Pedrosa setting his fastest time of 1’55.357 on just his third lap, sending him to the top of the classifications. Marquez’s second lap placed him second behind Pedrosa and then after a brief modification, Marquez went back on track and his fifth lap put him on top of the board with a time of 1’55.281 (just 0.128 off Casey Stoner’s circuit lap record in 2008 – 1’55.153), and remained unbeaten for the remainder of the session.

Pedrosa finished the day just 0.76s behind in second place.

Marquez said: “Today went pretty well. It is always important to make a good start to the weekend. I felt good and the feeling was similar to that which we had in pre-season testing, although maybe there was a little less grip. We tried some things that we had prepared after the test and this went well. Tomorrow we will try to keep progressing, but we can’t forget that the track surface here will improve a lot and the times will come down.”

Team-mate Pedrosa was equally satisfied. He said: “We have completed the first session of the year and we have done quite well. Now we are going to work on the bike to in preparation for the coming days. We need to keep taking steps forward as the weekend goes on and keep improving our pace. The track was in quite good condition and we’ll see how it evolves over the course of the Grand Prix weekend.”

FP2 will commence tomorrow at 18h00 local time.

1 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’55.281
2 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’55.357
3 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’55.685
4 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’55.698
5 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR CWM LCR Honda 1’55.818
6 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Pramac Racing 1’55.939
7 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 1’55.980
8 HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Pramac Racing 1’56.139
9 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’56.162
10 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Ducati Team 1’56.315
11 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’56.361
12 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’56.374
13 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’56.428
14 BRADL Stefan 6 GER Athina Forward Racing 1’56.577
15 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE AB Motoracing 1’56.651
16 DE ANGELIS Alex 15 RSM Athina Forward Racing 1’56.768
17 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’56.922
18 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing 1’56.957
19 MILLER Jack 43 AUS CWM LCR Honda 1’56.983
20 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Athina Forward Racing 1’57.031
21 HAYDEN Nicky 69 USA Aspar MotoGP Team 1’57.052
22 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.130
23 LAVERTY Eugene 50 IRE Aspar MotoGP Team 1’57.224
24 DI MEGLIO Mike 63 FRA Avintia Racing 1’57.612
25 MELANDRI Marco 33 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’59.579