2011 Repsol Honda MotoGP Team Presentation

Stoner, Pedrosa and Dovizioso form three-rider lineup

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 31, 2011
Repsol Honda officially introduced its 2011 MotoGP lineup of Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.

The trio was presented alongside the 2011 Honda RC212V MotoGP race bike at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia ahead of the official MotoGP test at the Sepang circuit.

Stoner, formerly from the factory Ducati team, joins Pedrosa and Dovizioso for the first three-rider Repsol Honda team in the four-stroke MotoGP era. The three current riders combine for five career World Championships though only Stoner holds one in the premiere class. Shuhei Nakamoto, vice president of Honda Racing Corporation, compares the trio to the original 1995 Repsol-sponsored line-up of Mick Doohan, Alex Criville and Shinichi Ito.

“In 2011 Honda Racing’s effort in MotoGP is stronger than ever,” says Nakamoto. “As we have done in the 90’s, we will again be a three rider strong team, with a clear mission: to win the Title. All three of our Repsol Honda riders know how to win a Championship, because all of them have been World Champion in the past, and we will give them all our support for this big challenge.”

Shuhei Nakamoto of Casey Stoner Dani Pedrosa Andrea Dovizioso

For Stoner, it marks his return to Honda machinery after his debut in the MotoGP class in 2006 with the satellite LCR Honda team. For 2011, Stoner joins the factory team to race under the same Repsol Honda banner as one of his childhood heroes, fellow Australian and five-time 500cc Grand Prix Champion Doohan.

“I’m really excited and it’s a great emotion to wear the Repsol Honda colors for the first time,” says Stoner. “When I was a child, I used to watch Mick Doohan winning Championships one after the other with these colors and for me it's an honor to be part of this team.”

The Repsol Honda squad had a strong 2010 with Pedrosa on pace for a career best season and was Jorge Lorenzo’s main challenger before a crash at the Motegi round knocked him out of the title picture.

“I was looking forward to be again together with my team to plan the new season,” says Pedrosa. “The winter break has been long, as always, but in my case also good because I had time to rest and do a proper rehabilitation for my shoulder. I feel stronger now and arrive here in Sepang much better but I’m also looking forward to see what is my level on the bike. It will be like a personal test for me and I’m excited to see the results.”

Casey Stoner Dani Pedrosa Andrea Dovizioso

At one point last season, it appeared that a three-rider Honda line-up seemed unlikely. With sponsorship money hard to come by, it appeared that Honda wanted to farm Dovizioso out to a factory backed satellite Honda team. With a strong 2010 season that saw him finish fifth overall, Dovizioso triggered a clause in his contract that guaranteed a spot on the factory team, keeping him on the Repsol Honda squad.

"I'm very happy to be part of the Repsol Honda Team, especially this year as we will be a very competitive team, stronger than ever,” says Dovizioso. “We are three riders able to fight for the win and the title, me and my team are very enthusiastic.”

The three-day Sepang test runs Feb. 1-3.