Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol Honda – GP of Qatar Video Preview
Marquez and Pedrosa head to Qatar to start 2016 MotoGP season
Repsol Honda Team begin a new season this weekend –the fourth for Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa together.
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The Losail International Circuit will be lit up once again this Sunday, on the occasion of the Qatar Grand Prix. The 2016 season opener for the MotoGP World Championship is once again the only night race on the calendar –and the only event to feature three days of practice, beginning on Thursday. Marc Marquez won at the track in 2014 and took another podium in Qatar in his rookie year the previous season. Dani Pedrosa has been on the rostrum five times.
Following a preseason in which Repsol Honda have visited Malaysia, Australia and Qatar itself, and worked on adapting to the premier class’ new rules, Marquez and Pedrosa are optimistic ahead of the first race of the year.
“The season is finally about to start, and I’m looking forward to it. When we came here two weeks ago we did a big step forward with the setup at the very end of the test, and I really felt at ease with the bike, especially in my last run that was quite late in the evening, with the dew already starting to form. That’s positive in view of the race, even if we’re not yet where we’d like to be and still have a margin for improvement with the setup. The Losail layout may not be the most favourable of the season for our bike, but in the past we’ve scored a podium and a win here with the RC213V, so we’ll fight to get the best result on Sunday. This year there are a few variables that aren’t yet completely predictable, such as tyre wear at race distance, for example, and the bike’s behaviour with the new electronics. Still, Honda never cease to work hard, as is the case for me and the whole team, so I’m positive and look forward to the action starting!”
“I’m going to Qatar with a positive attitude, even if the test we did there wasn’t completely satisfactory. We’ve made some progress with the electronics, but we have to improve further with the chassis setup and make the tyres work better. I expect things to go a little better for us this week compared to the test. We’re probably not yet where we’d like to be, but it’s important to remain positive, especially because with the many changes that have been introduced this year, I expect a greater balance among the performances of the riders compared to the past, at least in the beginning. Losail isn’t among my favourite tracks, but I’ve got five podium finishes here so we must stay focused, work to improve our bike setup and be ready to get the most from what we have and from the situation.”