Productive penultimate test day for Repsol Honda Team

An early start in Qatar allowed Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo to improve the setup of their respective Honda RC213Vs alongside their lap times.

With information gained from the opening day of the Qatar Test, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo were amongst the first riders on track for day two. The Losail International Circuit started the evening in a much cleaner condition, allowing for more productivity from earlier in the day.

Within just a handful of laps, Marc Marquez was able to improve his time from the opening day by almost half a second. 57 laps around the 5.38 km Losail International Circuit produced a best time of 1’55.004, placing Marquez fifth overall. The day was not only for testing the Honda RC213V, but also to test Marquez’s shoulder – the reigning champion completing the highest number of laps since his shoulder surgery in December.

Meanwhile, Jorge Lorenzo and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage continued to adjust the ergonomics of the bike to suit the five-time champion’s body and riding style. It proved to be a busy day for Lorenzo who was still able to complete 44 laps while improving his time by a substantial 1.348 seconds to a 1’55.742.

Just a single day of pre-season testing remains before the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship begins in Qatar on March 8.

Marc Marquez celebrates his 100th MotoGP race on Brno podium

At the Czech GP, Marc Marquez celebrated from the third step of the podium the special milestone of 100 MotoGP races, showing once again the reasons behind the impressive numbers of his still relatively short Premier Class career.

His 71st MotoGP podium out of 100 starts (71%) was the best result the young Spaniard could achieve today, so after sticking with Lorenzo and eventual winner Dovizioso until the last lap of the race, he ultimately settled for third. At the same time, he achieved his weekend goal of extending his Championship lead at a track where he did not feel totally comfortable. He arrived in the Czech Republic with a 46-point advantage on Valentino Rossi and left with +49.

The other statistics related to his special 100th MotoGP milestone are 40 wins (40%), 68 Pole positions (68%), and 42 race-fastest-laps (42%).

Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who started from 10th on the grid, continued to struggle in corner exits; only at the end of the race was he able to recover two positions and cross the finish line in eighth place.

Tomorrow, the Repsol Honda Team will remain at Brno for a one-day post-race test before moving on to Austria for next Sunday’s Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring Circuit.

Credit: HRC News

Marquez takes title at Sachsenring

Marc Marquez perfectly mastered a tactical race to take a stellar ninth straight win at the Sachsenring, after starting from pole position.

The reigning World Champion saved his tyres while following Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo in the early phases, took the lead on lap 13 when he decided it was time to try and pull a gap and—in the latter stages of the race, when tyre consumption increased—managed his advantage.

Looking strictly at the numbers, today Marc took a second consecutive win from pole, his fifth victory this season, his 40th MotoGP success, and his 66th across three classes, extending his Championship lead over Valentino Rossi to 46 points with 10 races remaining. In addition, his ninth win at Sachsenring came after nine consecutive poles here, and in his 99th MotoGP race, at the season’s ninth round.

Never really comfortable with his bike’s setup during the weekend, Dani Pedrosa could only improve upon his starting-grid spot by two positions, ending the race in eighth place.

Now the Repsol Honda Team will enjoy a two-week break before heading to Brno for the Czech GP on 5 August.

 

Credit: HRC News

Dani Pedrosa announces retirement

Dani Pedrosa, of the Repsol Honda Team, has announced his retirement at the end of the 2018 season. At 4pm on Thursday 12/7/2018 at the German GP, the three-time World Champion ended speculation about his future and made the decision public, bringing his successful 18-year career to an end.

One of the most successful riders of all time, Pedrosa has the third most podiums, 54 wins and three World Championships to date before he prepares to hang up his leathers.

“Next year I won’t compete in the Championship, I’ll finish my career in MotoGP this season. It’s a decision I’ve thought about for a long time and it’s a hard decision because this is the sport I love but despite having good opportunities to keep racing, I feel like I don’t live racing with the same intensity as before and I now have different priorities in my life.”

“I would like to express how fortunate I feel to have had this experience and these opportunities in my life, it’s been an amazing life to have been racing for such an important team and in front of all the fans. I achieved way more than I expected and I’m very, very proud of what I’ve done in the sport. I’ve fulfilled my dream of becoming a racer and that’s something that I didn’t expect when I was a kid watching TV, watching riders in the World Championship. I would like to take this time to say thanks to Dorna and to Honda for giving me this opportunity way back in 1999, and to all my sponsors who’ve been with me throughout my career. I would like also to say thanks to my family, and to all the fans who supported me throughout my career and through the thick and thin, who helped me sending so many messages to overcome difficult things in the past.”

As we previously reported, Dani Pedrosa will be replaced by Jorge Lorenzo for 2019. 

For now we’ve got the German GP to keep us entertained. The action kicks off at Sachsenring this weekend.

Credit: MotoGP News

Repsol and Honda renew MotoGP alliance to reach 25 year anniversary in 2019

The Spanish energy company and the Japanese manufacturer extend their contract through to 2020 and consolidate the most successful relationship in motorcycle racing history.

Repsol and Honda have extended their contract in MotoGP for a further two years, thus consolidating an alliance based on technological collaboration and commemorating its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2019.

In 1995, Repsol and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) joined forces for a project that will be next year celebrating a quarter-century in motorcycle racing. Since then, the energy company and vehicle manufacturer have won 13 rider World Championships in the premier class and taken 163 Grand Prix wins, the most recent coming this past weekend at the Dutch TT through Marc Márquez.

Repsol’s Executive Managing Director of Communications and the Chairman’s Office, Begoña Elices, and HRC President Yoshishige Nomura, signed the extension of the agreement, through which Repsol will continue to be the main sponsor of the Honda factory team in MotoGP and the supplier of the fuel and lubricant used by their bikes -unique prototypes to which technological excellence, products and the innovation of both companies is transferred.

For the 2019 season, current World Championship leader Márquez will team with Jorge Lorenzo. Between the two they have won seven of the last eight MotoGP titles, with the exception being that won by Casey Stoner with Repsol Honda in 2011.

The collaboration between Repsol and Honda goes beyond conventional sports sponsorship and is reflected in a close relationship between the Honda laboratories in Saitama (Japan) and the Repsol Technology Center, which is located in Móstoles (Spain).

This long term teamwork is an example of the enduring collaboration between two global companies that always seek to overcome challenges and aspire to excellence. Repsol and Honda have been able to make the most of their strengths and achieve a winning formula, which is based on the combination of bike, rider, fuel and lubricant.

In the 1990s, the collaboration began with the development of two-stroke engines and fuel, moving on to the challenge of developing the best four-stroke engines and fuels in the world.

More than half of the premier class world titles won since 1995 have gone to the Repsol Honda team. In addition, the Repsol-Honda collaboration has led to the winning of the Team Championship on seven occasions since the award was created in 2002. A record of 163 wins and 419 podiums in 500cc and MotoGP has been reached thanks to riders such as Mick Doohan, Álex Crivillé, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez.

The team with the most recognisable colours in the MotoGP World Championship will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Repsol and Honda’s relationship in 2019, an event that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the energy company as a sports sponsor.

 

Credit: HRC News 2018

Marquez dominates at Le Mans for superb victory hat-trick

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) roared to his third consecutive MotoGP victory yesterday at sun-soaked Le Mans to boost his quest for a fifth MotoGP World Championship crown in his sixth season in the premier-class.

This latest success for the 25-year-old Spaniard is his 38th MotoGP victory, which moves him to fifth equal in the all-time winners list, alongside Honda’s 2011 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner, with only Jorge Lorenzo, Mick Doohan, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi ahead of him.

Marquez made a steady start to the race, completing the first lap in fifth position, then waited until his tyres were delivering optimum performance before he began pushing towards the front. Marquez now holds a 36-point championship lead over Maverick Vinales, who won last year’s French GP but finished seventh yesterday.

Marc Marquez’s first victory for 2018

Marc Marquez scored an awesome first victory of 2018, moving himself into second position in the World Championship. Honda’s second victory of the year also extended the company’s advantage in the Constructors World Championship. During his victory lap Marquez carried a number 69 flag to pay tribute to Honda’s 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, who last year lost his life in a cycling accident.

Following 2018’s season-opening three flyaway races in Qatar, Argentina and the USA, the MotoGP paddock packs up and heads to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 6.

Cal Crutchlow wins MotoGP in Argentina

Cal Crutchlow, riding for LCR Honda on a CASTROL RC213V took MotoGP victory yesterday for the third time in his career. He secured Honda’s 750th Grand Prix victory at the end of a thrilling battle with Frenchman Johann Zarco and Spaniard Alex Rins at Termas de Rio Hondo.

The Argentine Grand Prix was less successful for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V), who had dominated practice and were both expected to be in the battle for victory.

Pedrosa started from the front row, only to fall on the first lap, following an incident with Zarco. Marquez started from the second row and rode at an astonishing pace but finished outside the points after suffering several penalties.

The second round of Grand Prix racing’s 70th season was certainly worthy of history – it was a thriller from start to finish. The 24-lap race got underway late, due to changing track conditions that caused 23 of the 24 riders to leave the grid to switch to slick tires. The race finally got underway on a track that was still damp in many places from earlier rain. Marquez took the lead on the second lap, riding at amazing speed, despite the treacherous conditions. However, he was given a ride-through penalty for a grid infringement, which dropped him out of the fight.

That left a four-way contest for the lead between Crutchlow, Zarco, Rins and pole-starter Jack Miller, who later faded to leave the other three swapping positions until the very end. Crutchlow rode a superb race, saving his tires at the back of the group and only pushing forward in the final stages, when each of the trio took turns in the lead. His winning advantage over Zarco was just 0.251 seconds, with Rins a further two seconds back.

This was the 32-year-old Briton’s third MotoGP victory, all with Honda RC213V machinery, following his successes in the 2016 Czech and Australian Grands Prix.