News 18 Aug 2009

MotoGP: Honda riders on pace with new suspension at Brno


The final one-day test of the season for MotoGP teams and riders was held at the 5.403km Brno Circuit, venue for yesterday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, round 11 of the 17 round 2009 World Championship. With the possibility of rain at some point during the day the riders took to the track as soon as the gate opened in an effort to assess the development parts they hope will improve performance and results over the remaining six grands prix.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda, was the fastest of the Honda RC212V riders taking part in the test ending the day with third fastest time overall. He and his crew concentrated on overall machine set up options based upon feed-back from the yesterday’s 22 lap race. The changes enabled the Spaniard to better his best lap in the race by half a second.

When the first rain showers finally arrived at 14.00. Pedrosa, and his fellow MotoGP riders, stayed in their pit boxes for three hours before returning to the track for the final hour of the test. The hour was spent evaluating completely new suspension parts but he did not have sufficient time to assess the full potential of the new package.

Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda team mate, Andrea Dovizioso, was also faster today than he had been in the race but by just one tenth of a second.

Dovi also tested the new suspension components today his comments on performance reflecting those of his team mate. The Italian contested the grand prix with a newly designed and developed swing-arm on his factory spec RC212V and today further refined overall machine set up with swing-arm and new suspension to improve upon his race pace and set the fifth fastest lap time of the test..

San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Toni Elias is a man riding at his very best. Following a fine third place finish in the GP Elias is highly motivated and was eager to get to work today determined to make improvements to his RCV to enable him to maintain the momentum he has built up in the last four races. Elias tried a different riding position and general set up options during the morning dry session.
The final hour of the test was dedicated to testing new front forks brought to Brno by Showa, suspension supplier to Gresini Honda.

Elias’ team mate, San Marinese Alex De Angelis, did not test today due to an acute pain in his back.

Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi, Scot Honda RC212V, a MotoGP Rookie with just six races under his belt, continued to test the myriad of suspension and chassis combinations available to him as he slowly but surely masters the 300km/h plus 800cc four-cylinder Honda. The Hungarian ran virtually identical lap times to those he set in yesterday’s 22 lap race that saw him take 13th place.

Randy De Puniet, Playboy LCR Honda, did not take part in the one-day test preferring to rest the ankle he broke in a pre-Brno MX training session. The tough Frenchman raced in yesterday’s 22-lap Czech GP despite suffering acute pain and no little discomfort. De Puniet put in a typically gritty performance to finish a heroic 10th at the flag.

Honda MotoGP rider lap times and quotes.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd – 1m 56.747s “It was a useful test session today, even though the rain tried to mess with our plans, and I hope that what we’ve learnt can help us for the next races. In the morning we worked on some set-up improvements from the race weekend and we were able to find some more speed. After lunch we were set to try some new suspension components which we managed to do when the track dried after the rain. Of course it takes time to perfect the set-up when you try new things, but our pace was quite good and the feeling was promising. Overall, this was a worthwhile test.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 5th – 1m 57.764s “It was good to get some testing time today because the new rules mean any extra track time is very valuable. It was an interesting day because we tried quite a few set-up options including some different suspension parts, and this was a first for me. Because of the limited time, we couldn’t evaluate their full potential, but the initial feedback was positive. We also continued to work with the set-up for the new swing-arm we used this weekend and managed to improve our speed. Honda is working very hard for the remaining races and also for next year, and the team is fully committed.”

Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th – 1m 57.841s “The show of affection I was given by so many people after the race last night was really nice and I appreciated it a lot. It is a result that gives me a lot of pleasure although at the same time it kind of makes me angry because even though I am scoring top results year after year I still don’t have a solution for next season. Anyway, I want to stay optimistic and I will be giving my absolute best until the end of the season and show everybody my true worth over these last six races. This morning we tried a new footrest position, which I liked, but then the rain came and set back our plans. Once it dried out again we were able to get back out and try a new modified fork that Showa brought here. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough laps with it to make a proper evaluation and we might need to do some more tests during free practice at Indianapolis.”

Gabor Talmacsi, Scot Racing Team: 12th – 1m 59.008s

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Honda Gresini: Alex is still suffering from back pains that started immediately after yesterday’s race, Alex reluctantly withdrew from the test.

Randy de Puniet, LCR Honda: Randy did not test preferring to rest and protect his broken ankle before jetting off to the U.S. for the Indianapolis GP on August 30.