Honda’s six riders in the MotoGP World Championship today visited the headquarters of Honda Motor Company in Tokyo and also dropped in on the main offices of Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in advance this weekend’s Grand Prix of Japan.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were joined by Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli from the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet, and 250cc World Champion Hiro Aoyama, who graduated to MotoGP with the Interwetten Honda team this season.
During their lunchtime visit to HRC, in the Saitama prefecture, the riders were presented to the HRC and Honda R&D staff in the company restaurant.
Then in the afternoon more than 250 excited fans packed into the foyer of the Honda head office building in Aoyama, central Tokyo, to see their MotoGP idols. The most eager fans had been queuing outside the building since 11pm the previous night in order to secure the best spot in the audience.
When the event started the riders were introduced and answered questions before a prize draw saw lucky members of the audience chosen to receive shirts, gloves, boots and other signed gifts donated by the riders.
Coincidently it was Dani Pedrosa’s 25th birthday today and the special occasion certainly didn’t go unnoticed. In fact Pedrosa blew out the candles on three birthday cakes during the visits – two from the staff at HRC and one at Honda headquarters.
After today’s relaxed events, the Honda riders now begin the serious business of preparing for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Japan at Honda’s home circuit, Twin Ring Motegi.