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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dani Pedrosa new bike and Casey Stoner new engine for US MotoGP

FOLLOWING feedback from the Mugello test, HRC will provide Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa with major new developments for this weekend's US MotoGP at Laguna Seca.

HRC brought a brand new version of the RC213V - engine and chassis - to the recent Mugello post-race test, in an effort to finally get on top of the chatter problems Stoner and Pedrosa have been battling since winter testing.

The new bike, an early 2013 prototype, received a mixed review.

Although it didn't solve the team's technical problems, Pedrosa felt it was a step forward in both engine and chassis. Reigning champion Stoner didn't feel any chassis gains, but did like the engine.

As a result, HRC has worked flat out to ensure both riders get their wish for Laguna Seca.

Pedrosa will have one of the complete new bikes to try alongside the present RCV in California, while Stoner will have the new engine in the current frame, as he had requested.

Pedrosa starts the event trailing Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo by 19-points in the championship.

"I'm really looking forward to racing in Laguna Seca,” said the Spaniard, winner at Laguna Seca in 2009. “The atmosphere there is fantastic and it's a very particular track, nothing like what we are used to in Europe.

“Laguna is very small, bumpy and technical. Last year it was a very hard race for me due to the lack of fitness, so I hope to enjoy riding there again as we did in the past.

“Honda has made a big effort to bring the new parts to Laguna so we'll have our standard bike, but we'll also get the new engine and chassis we tested in Mugello and I hope we can take advantage of these improvements and have another good race".

Mistakes and set-up problems for Stoner in the past two races have seen the triple 2012 winner drop from the joint title lead to 37-points from Lorenzo.

"I always look forward to going to Laguna, it's a circuit we've enjoyed quite good results at and the atmosphere there is fantastic,” said the Australian, a US GP winner in both his championship seasons - 2007 for Ducati and 2011 for Honda.

“The circuit is a very tight and technical and it's definitely a positive that it goes around to the left, as we have less chatter on the left hand side.

“However, some of the most critical corners are right handers so it depends how we can get the bike set up before I can say if we'll be competitive.

“We've had a nice short break since Mugello and we're looking to improve on our results from the last two races.

“HRC have worked hard in Japan to provide us with the new engine and some parts from the test, hopefully we can have three dry sessions to get some work done and be competitive for Sunday, but we'll have to wait until we get on track".

Free practice for the US MotoGP starts on Friday.


World Superbikes winner MSMW2012