Repsol Honda riders head to France looking for another double podium2012-05-15 08:38
This weekend the 2012 MotoGP World Championship heads to Le Mans. The Grand Prix of France, fourth round of the calendar, welcomes the Repsol Honda Team with Casey Stoner leading the Championship with 66 points and Dani Pedrosa in third place with 52.
Both Honda factory riders have visited the podium at every race so far this season and Casey and Dani head to Le Mans aiming to continue this pattern at a track that affected both riders' seasons in different ways last year.
Casey, who clinched the win in Estoril last week and his 18th successive podium, won in Le Mans in 2011, building up towards his second MotoGP World title with three wins in a row (Le Mans, Catalunya and Silverstone).
Dani celebrated his 100th career podium in Portugal and will return to Le Mans with one thing on his mind: to put behind him the bad memories from his crash in 2011, after setting the circuit record and fastest lap of the race (1'33.627). As a result of this accident, Dani broke his collarbone and was absent from the races in Catalunya, Silverstone and Assen in 2011.
The French circuit, located 200 kilometres south-west of Paris, is a tight track, quite similar to Estoril, dominated by first gear corners, late braking and hard acceleration.
CASEY STONER World Championship Position: 1st with 66 points
"The past two tracks have not historically been my best but I've managed wins at both of them so I'm hoping we can go to Le Mans and be competitive again. I've had some mixed results there in the past, the track layout is unique, it's a little stop-start with a lot of braking and I think this year both the Honda's and Yamaha's will be competitive there. It was disappointing that the weather in Estoril on Monday prevented us from testing, we need to work on the chatter issue we have on the bike so let's hope we have some dry sessions from day one in Le Mans so we can get out on track and work on it".
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position: 3rd with 52 points
"Le Mans is a hard circuit, quite similar to Estoril, a stop and go track where you need to prepare a bike with good stability, traction and acceleration. In the past I felt comfortable riding there, I had good results in 125cc and 250cc, but not really perfect in MotoGP, so I have something small inside me I want to achieve. Last year I did the fastest race lap, but I couldn't keep the pace before the crash, so I want to do better this time. We've had three good races so far, I'm riding well, but I missed something in all of them, especially on the first laps, where I've been stronger in the past. I need to put everything together and if we get better starts, we will start wining races".
Source: Repsol Honda Team
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