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Oct 10, 2012

More Previews Of This Coming Weekend's MotoGP Event At Motegi Twin-Ring (Updated)

Randy De Puniet (14) and Aleix Espargaro (41).
JAPAN TO HOST FIRST RACE OF ASIA-OCEANIA TRIPLE-HEADER

De Puniet and Espargaró to continue CRT fight in final four rounds of 2012

It is the most exciting but also the most toughest period of the season for the MotoGP teams and riders as the paddock packs up for three races in as many weekends on the other side of the planet. Motegi, Sepang and Phillip Island are the venues for an intense intercontinental triple-header, starting this weekend at the Japanese track. The fifteenth round of the season sees Dani Pedrosa arrive with his championship hopes still alive after victory at Aragón although a 33-point gap to Jorge Lorenzo remains significant with just four rounds remaining. Casey Stoner returns to action and could well be the deciding factor in the battle between the two Spaniards.

Aleix Espargaró nicked a point back from his team-mate Randy De Puniet with his latest CRT win last time out in what was probably the tightest scrap of the season between the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair. Just two points now separate them in an entertaining battle for championship supremacy that looks certain to run until the final round in Valencia. Whichever way their personal duel goes it seems certain that a historic first ever CRT title will end up in the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar trophy cabinet.

Randy De Puniet: "You could say that Motegi isn't one of the most interesting circuits on the calendar as far as I am concerned. There are too many braking zones and I don't enjoy riding there really although the flip side of that is that it has always been good to me in terms of results and performances. It will be an important Grand Prix for us anyway. There are just four remaining this season and the fight with Aleix is going to be very tight, so we have to remain competitive over the next three weekends and at Valencia. Hopefully the weather is good to us because normally in Japan it tends to rain a lot in October. Whatever the conditions we have to give our best to bring home as many points as possible from each of the remaining four rounds."

Aleix Espargaró: "Now we go to Japan and we have three races in a very short space of time. To be honest I don't like spending so much time away from home but the good thing is that we're going to race at some of my favourite circuits, especially Sepang and Phillip Island. We will have to work hard at Motegi this weekend if we want to leave there with a good result. It is a circuit with a lot of hard braking and that should suit us because it is probably our strong point. We are highly motivated after an excellent weekend at Aragón and the objective will be to finish ahead of Randy again and make up the points he took from us at Misano a couple of races ago. Every race has to be like that now if we want to get to Valencia fighting to finish the season as the top CRT rider."




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 15: Motegi, Japan

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Round fifteen of the 2012 MotoGP™ season takes place at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit for one of the most important contests of the year, as the strong Japanese presence in the paddock including Bridgestone - celebrate their home Grand Prix as the championship battle enters a critical phase.

At approximately 4.8 kilometres in length Motegi is characterised by four straights that create numerous heavy braking and acceleration zones. As a result, the centre section of the tyres at this circuit are placed under considerable stress, requiring the supplied tyres to grant high levels of front stability under braking, and good rear grip for acceleration.

The tarmac at Motegi is quite abrasive and with the race now being run in October, track temperatures are generally quite cool so Bridgestone must develop tyres with good warm-up performance and durability for the Japanese Grand Prix. Tyre compounds for this year remain unchanged with the soft, medium and hard front slicks being offered alongside the asymmetric soft and medium rear slicks. The asymmetric rear slicks feature slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder in response to the greater number of right-hand turns at the Motegi circuit.

The main wet tyre for Motegi will be the soft option to ensure maximum grip levels in the likely cool temperatures, although all riders will be able to select a limited number of the alternative wet tyre, which for this race is the hard option, if required.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

"Motegi is one of the highlights of the season as the large Japanese contingent in the paddock gets to celebrate its home grand prix and put on a big show for all the local fans. This is certainly the case for Bridgestone and we will be hosting a large number of guests, for many of whom Motegi presents the only chance to see some live MotoGP action. Like every year we will have a large display booth in the public area where we will be hosting a talk show with many riders and this year we are also holding a charity auction to help victims of last year's Tohoku earthquake, and I look forward to meeting many MotoGP fans there over the weekend.

"Adding to the excitement is that there is still everything to fight for in the championship between Jorge and Dani, and with Casey making a welcome return to the paddock there are many reasons why this weekend should be a great show."

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

"Now that the Japanese Grand Prix takes place in October, the temperatures for the race are generally cool, so warm-up performance is a key consideration for tyre development at the Motegi circuit. The track surface is high-grip and abrasive which combined with the circuit's heavy braking and acceleration zones, places high loads on the centre section of the tyres.

"The circuit has a stop-and-go layout and features eight right-hand corners compared to six left-handers. Though the circuit doesn't place significant loads on the either shoulder of the tyre, the greater number of right-hand corners means asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder are provided here. Overall, Motegi is one of the gentler circuits for MotoGP tyres and this is why we have selected softer tyre compounds selected for this race."




More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:

Yonny is aiming at the CRT podium at Motegi. Ivan Silva comes back to MotoGP and makes his debut on the Japanese track

Europe's new SuperStock runner-up Ivan Silva will be riding the Avintia Blusens CRT's again at Motegi. To Ivan it will mean getting familiar with the Japanese track but also having the honour to get back to MotoGP after his great performance in the European championship and being incorporated into the team again. For his part Yonny is willing to follow the positive line he has held since the G.P. of Aragon and his objective will be to score and finish among the best CRT's as he already did on many other occasions. Even though there are still four races to run the world championship is now coming to an end and the Avintia Blusens MotoGP team members want to complete the season on a positive note."

Yonny Hernandez: "I am happy with the latest result and I want to repeat it. I finished third in the CRT's again at Motorland and I scored. That's the least I want to achieve in Japan but honestly my true objective is to win. It is not an easy track and we'll have to wait until we see how the motorbike is going but if we have enough time to find out the right setting-up, then nothing should be dismissed."

Ivn Silva: "As you can imagine I am very pleased to get back to MotoGP with the team. I am not familiar with the track but I am excited after the race in the European championship. I felt competitive again in Albacete. I enjoyed myself and I was very close to become champion again. This has given me strength and even if I have to prioritize work I can assure you that he remainder of the season will be totally different from what has been seen so far."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

2012 FIM ROAD RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIX
ROUND 15 OCTOBER 12,13,14, 2012 MOTEGI, JAPAN
PREVIEW MOTOGP, MOTO2, MOTO3

HONDA TEAM BACK TOGETHER FOR HOME GRAND PRIX

The Honda team will be back at full strength for the Japanese Grand
Prix at Twin Ring Motegi, Honda's home track, with Repsol Honda rider
Casey Stoner rejoining team-mate and championship contender Dani
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) for the first of the three flyaway races.

Pedrosa arrives in Japan having equaled his career mark of four
MotoGP wins and having set a new personal MotoGP record of podiums
with 12. With four races to go, the Spaniard is certain to break both
marks, and he will have to if he is to continue his quest for the
2012 MotoGP World Championship.

Having won in Aragon in the European getaway round, Pedrosa closed
the gap on points leader Jorge Lorenzo to 33.

Motegi has been a welcoming track for Pedrosa, a track that he likes
and looks forward to. Pedrosa won in 2011 with a 7.3s margin of
victory. That win completed the triple-crown for Pedrosa; he has now
won in all three categories he has raced at Motegi, 125cc, 250cc and
MotoGP. Last year's win came after he had missed the 2010 race when
he broke his collarbone in practice through no fault of his
own. Prior to his injury, he had been third in both 2008 and 2009.

When Stoner rolls his Repsol Honda RC213V onto the Twin Ring Motegi
circuit on Friday morning, it will have been 55 days since he
suffered significant damage to his right ankle in a qualifying crash
for the Indianapolis Grand Prix. Stoner missed the final three races
prior to the flyaways-Brno, Misano, and Aragon-while recovering at
home in Australia. He has spent the time with his young family and
keeping up with the MotoGP World Championship. Now the two-time
MotoGP World Champion is ready to return.

Stoner returns at a track where he finished third to team-mate
Pedrosa last year on his march to the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
Stoner also won the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix following a battle with
then Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who fought Stoner until the
two-thirds mark in the race when the Australian was able to make a
clean break. Stoner also finished second at Motegi in 2008 and was on
the podium in both the 250cc and 125cc classes.

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista is currently tied for
sixth in the MotoGP World Championship with the possibility of
finishing fifth. The Spaniard has been getting stronger as the season
has progressed, with his first podium coming two races ago in Misano,
a race which was preceded and followed by sixth place finishes.
Already he has scored nearly double the points he did last year and
should double his previous best from 2010 if he maintains his consistency.

That battle starts at Motegi, where before last year's non-finish he
was seventh in his rookie MotoGP season of 2010. Bautista finished
his 250cc career with a win at Motegi in 2009, one year after
finishing second. He was also second in his final 125cc season in Japan.

Bautista is the only rider in MotoGP using Showa suspension, which
adds pressure to his task of finding the proper set-up on a circuit
that taxes the forks and shocks with hard braking and equally hard
acceleration.

Twin Ring Motegi is one of the favourites of Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda
MotoGP RC213V), who not only likes the track, but also the people of
Japan. The young German continues his rookie of the year season at a
track where he won the second grand prix of his career. That was in
2008, when he won a thrilling 125cc race. Since then, he has been
fourth twice, including in 2011, his Moto2 World Championship-winning
year. The 22-year-old is just behind Bautista in the championship and
well ahead of the second best rookie.

The Motegi race gives Bradl another opportunity to earn his first
MotoGP podium, a finish that is certain to come. He was denied a
possible podium in Misano by a front tyre that gradually lost air.
And in Aragon he was third on the fourth lap when he fell.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR) continued his roll of
points-paying finishes in Aragon, where he scored points for the
third race in a row after a frustrating series of non-finishes. Pirro
might have finished higher up the order had conditions allowed for
more dry track time, conditions which prevented him from finding a
better set-up. Still, he is encouraged by the progress he and his
team have made on the Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT machine heading to
Motegi, where he first raced in 2005 before returning last year in
the Moto2 class.

Before he returns to his home in Spain for the final race of the 2012
season in Valencia, Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter)
could be the Moto2 World Champion. The 19-year-old leads the Moto2
standings by 48 points, a lead he amassed by winning seven times and
finishing on the podium in four other races. If Marquez can increase
that lead to 50 following the Malaysian Grand Prix, the race
following Motegi, the title will be his.

Marquez's record in Motegi is impressive. In 2010, his final 125cc
season, he won the first of four races in a row in Japan. He finished
second to Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Speed Up) in his Motegi Moto2
debut last season.

Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) has an uphill battle to
dislodge Marquez from the top spot, though he is up for the
challenge. Espargaro won his third Moto2 race of the season in
Aragon, taking five points from Marquez's lead as he continues his
late season surge: Espargaro has not qualified worse than second in
the past five races and has been on the podium in all five.

Of the two, Espargaro has far more experience at Motegi, first racing
there in 2006. His best finish came in 2009 when he finished third in
the 125cc race, following that with a fourth in 2010. Espargaro hit a
patch of bad luck in last year's race, finishing the first lap in
last place before working his way up to 21st.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Speed Up) will be making his last Moto2
appearance in Japan before moving to the MotoGP class in 2013. The
Italian currently sits third in the championship, though the 32-point
gap to Espargaro will be difficult to overcome. Instead he has to
worry about a rear guard attack from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter).

Iannone is the only rider in the top five to score points in every
race, though two of those finishes were well outside the top ten,
which allowed the two Spaniards to pull away in the championship. He
is also the rider who won last year's race by two seconds over
Marquez with Luthi third. Iannone also won from the pole position in
the 2009 125cc grand prix.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia-FTR Honda) has five wins in the
Moto3 class, more than any other rider. But the last win came in the
race prior to the summer break, after which he has not been able to
match his early season performances. That's left him third in the
championship, a position he may improve on, though a title run is unlikely.

Vinales lost a chance to close the gap on the championship leader in
Aragon, where a technical issue prevented him from starting the race.
Now he is back in action in Japan, where in his only previous visit
he finished fourth in last year's 125cc race.

Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda) retired before half
distance in Aragon with a minor technical issue one race after
finishing on the podium in his home grand prix in Misano. Motegi is
another track where he has never raced, though he can call on the
experience of team technical coordinator Roberto Locatelli, the
former racer who won the 125cc grand prix at Motegi in 2000 when it
was the Pacific Grand Prix.

Estrella Galicia 0,0-Suter Honda rider Alex Rins is another grand
prix rookie visiting the Far East for the first time. Having never
seen Twin Ring Motegi, Rins has been learning the circuit through a
videogame. The track being the home of Honda, Rins is hopeful of
engine upgrades for his Honda-powered Suter.

The previous two Japanese GPs were postponed for differing reasons.
The 2010 race had to be moved from the spring to the fall by a
volcanic eruption in Iceland that interrupted air travel. Last year's
race was postponed from April to October by the earthquake and
tsunami that devastated northern Japan. Those two postponements
returned the race to its more traditional fall date, where it began
life as the Pacific Grand Prix from 2000 through 2003, after which it
replaced the Suzuka Circuit as the venue for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Motegi ran in the fall every year until 2009, when it was moved to
the second race of the year. Now it's back at the start of the
Japan-Malaysia-Australia flyaways triple-header.

Twin Ring Motegi weaves a world class road course with a world class
egg-shaped oval that once hosted open wheel races. The name Twin Ring
is the marriage of two words, the English "twin" and the German
"ring," to denote the two tracks. But the venue offers much more than
just the race course. The Honda Collection Hall contains historic
motorcycles and cars from Honda's glorious past. There is also a dirt
track, rider and driver training facilities, and "Hello Woods," which
explores the forests surrounding the race track. The facility hosts
numerous championships, everything from the FIM World Trials to
Formula Nippon to Super GT to the Honda Eco Mileage Challenge.

Not all of those championship events use the 4.801Km, 14-turn road
course that the MotoGP riders tackle. The track mixes stop-start
straightaways with lower-gear hairpins that reward stability on the
brakes and quick bursts of acceleration, where the Honda RC213V with
the seamless shift gearbox has a distinct advantage. The 762m
Downhill Straight, from the Hairpin Curve to the 90 Degree Corner, is
the fastest stretch, with Stoner topping the speed charts at
295.6Km/h during qualifying in 2011, a speed that should increase
with the advent of the 1000cc era. Of the five top speeds, four were
Honda-powered.

The wild card in Japan is the weather. History tells us that it will
rain at some point during the weekend, giving the better prepared
teams an edge when it comes race time.

MotoGP RIDER QUOTES


Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says:
"Motegi is a race I always look forward to. It's the most important
weekend for Honda and I really enjoy the circuit. We have now the
most demanding period of races ahead, but we will keep taking things
step-by-step, thinking race-by-race. I love Motegi, it's a track with
strong braking and strong acceleration. You must work very hard for
the anti-wheelie, handling with the throttle, braking stability and
good drive out of the corners. We had a good race there last year and
we will work hard with the team to be as competitive as possible."

Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner says:
"It's going to be great to see all my team and get back on my bike in
Motegi this weekend. The last six weeks have been pretty tough for
me. I've had to sit around and rest my ankle, get some physio and try
to occupy my time - thankfully I've had (daughter) Ally around to
keep me occupied. I've been watching the races at home. I felt bad
for Dani (Pedrosa) in Misano, but these things can happen, as they
did for Jorge (Lorenzo) in Assen. The Motegi circuit is very
stop-start with a lot of hard braking and accelerating. It's pretty
tough on the body and physically quite demanding. The first session
on Friday will be crucial to see how my ankle feels in the boot and
the degree of movement I have and pressure I can apply."


San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista says:
"Aragon was something of a difficult weekend thanks largely to the
mixed weather. We were never able to work as we wanted to during
practice with the new material that Showa brought for us. In
qualifying I struggled for feeling on the front, the bike was moving
around a lot on the rear and we were unable to solve our problems in
time for the race. I would have liked to have been fighting for a
similar result to Misano, but the bike wasn't in the right shape. I
managed to make up positions in the race and improve my pace from
practice, but no more than that, so we have to focus on the
positives, which were championship points and important data for
Motegi, where we'll again work hard to fix our set-up problems with
the bike. If everything works as we hope then we should be
competitive. We have to work a lot on the bike under braking, because
this is the most important factor at this circuit. Starting off the
flyaway triple-header on the right foot will be fundamental, plus we
are racing at Honda's home circuit and I would like to offer them a
good result as a way of thanking them for all their support
throughout the season. I have been competitive at Motegi in the past,
so I hope to repeat that this weekend. Motegi is a circuit where you
need a bike that is stable on the brakes and has good traction in
corner exit. It should be well suited to our bike, which has great
acceleration."

LCR Honda MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl says:
"Motegi is one of my favorite race tracks and this GP it's even more
special to me because I am a Honda MotoGP racer. I like the warmth of
Japanese fans and will do my best to get a good result for my team
and the Honda fans. I already cancelled the bad memory of last race
in Aragon. We have the potential to fight for a podium finish and now
we must stay very concentrated."

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Michele Pirro says:
"Unfortunately, the conditions at Aragon were a disaster and ruined
the work we had planned after a fantastic weekend at Misano. It
really wasn't easy to try and find a set-up for the bike, but in the
end we managed to finish the race and pick up an important point
which gives us all renewed belief in the project. It promises to be
an important finale to the season and we need to try and close the
gap down to the top CRTs. At Motegi we'll try to take another step
closer. It's a technical track and even though it is not one of my
favourites I will try my maximum alongside the guys in the team to
fight to be the best CRT and come away with a good result."

Moto2 RIDER QUOTES

Team CaixaCatalunya Repsol-Suter rider Marc Marquez says:
"Motegi is a circuit where we struggled a bit last year, but
hopefully this weekend everything will go well. We must be vigilant
and prepared for any kind of track conditions, because there is
usually at least one session there in the wet. We will try to give
100 percent and see if we can have a good weekend from this round. It
is a track based around acceleration and braking, but we are also
strong when it comes to braking now."

Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex rider Pol Espargaro says:
"Well, we don't know the weather and sometimes there it is not so
good. It changes a lot and every year there are one or two days that
it rains, and so we have to wait and know what happens with the
weather and after that do my best as always. We go there knowing we
will be back in Moto2 next year. We are working so good with the
Kalex, with the Team Pons. I love the team, the team loves me. We are
so complementary, we have to know that that championship is so
difficult that we have to work to win my first or try to take my
first world championship and do my best next year."

Speed Master-Speed Up rider Andrea Iannone says:
"Motegi is a track I like and we'll continue our important work
there. We had some grip and chatter problems in Aragon that kept us
off the podium. My crew has worked hard on those issues and I'm
confident we'll be able to fight for the podium again in Japan. We
have to hope the weather is good, so we can get the maximum dry track
time to find a good set-up."

Moto3 RIDER QUOTES

Blusens Avintia FTR Honda rider Maverick Vinales says:
"Despite what happened at Motorland I am very excited about going to
Japan. Obviously the Aragon GP was very hard for us. You know that
these things can happen in racing, but when something occurs like a
fortnight ago, you are never sufficiently prepared. Before we travel
to Motegi, I want to apologise to my team, my sponsors, my fan club
and to the fans in general for having lost my composure when my bike
stopped on the formation lap. I am not trying to justify my reaction,
but one can understand the desperation and anger that I felt when I
saw my title chances go up in smoke in an instant. Now is the time to
think positive and make the most of the four remaining races. We now
go to Motegi, where I took a hard fought fourth place last season
after starting last. I like the track, but it isn't an easy one. We
will have to push to the maximum because, as we've seen this year,
the competition is fierce. Despite this, I can't deny that our
intention is to take the win."

Team Italia FMI FTR Honda rider Romano Fenati says:
"I'm very motivated ahead of Japan, where I want to redeem myself on
a track that I don't know, but is home to Honda, a bike which I'm
proud to race with. My technical coordinator (Roberto Locatelli)
raced many times at Motegi-he won the race in 2000-and I'm certain
his experience will be important at the upcoming tracks."

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Suter Honda rider Alex Rins says:
"We go to the Japanese Grand Prix eager to get on the podium. It is a
circuit where I have never ridden before and I'm not familiar with
it, but I will try to learn it as quickly as possible. I've been
preparing for this event for the past few weeks, but before traveling
there basically the only reference I have from playing the track on
the videogames. This is the home of Honda, so we may be running some
small improvements in terms of parts, but even if not we will still
try to do our best with this engine."




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

HECTOR WANTS THE RESULT AT THE TWIN RING IN MOTEGI

The MotoGP paddock arrives in Japan this week for the 15th round of the 2012 World Championship, the first of three flyaway races that will take place in Japan, Malaysia and Australia.

After a difficult race at the MotorLand Aragon two weeks ago, the Pramac Racing Team rider Héctor Barberà is eager to take the track and achieve the top ten, having missed out it in the last races. The Twin Ring Motegi holds mixed memories for the Spaniard, who suffered a serious injury both in 2011 and in 2008, but he has also enjoyed some good races at the Japanese track.

The Motegi circuit has modern facilities and features a somewhat geometric track layout. Braking and acceleration are the main prerequisite for a fast lap time.

Héctor Barberà Pramac Racing Team Rider

"In Aragon I had an unsatisfactory weekend and unfortunately I had also missed out the last four races because of my injury. This run of three races will be tough for everyone, but I will be working hard as ever, looking for re-acquaint myself with the bike and hoping for some good results. As always our target will be the top ten and catch as many points we can take without risking too much. We will do our best and see what happens!"




More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

The NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders determined for Japan

The 15th round of the world championship takes the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team to Japan. The Twin Ring Motegi circuit will be the first of the three back-to-back Asian races. The team's goal is clear, start this first race improving the results from the last GP.

In MotoGP Colin Edwards will strive to be in the points and with the setup work done so far, get closer to the best bikes in his category. In Moto2 great expectations for Yuki Takahashi, who at his home race wants to take the opportunity to comeback among the top riders: same for Alex De Angelis who has a score to settle after finishing 6th during last years race at this very circuit.

Yuki Takahashi -72
"It is always great to race here in Motegi, its home! I look forward to having my family and friends here this weekend and I'm sure that this weekend we will be within the points. We have a lot of work ahead of us."

Alex De Angelis 15
"After the last race in Aragon I see Motegi as the opportunity to get back to work after a more than unlucky beginning of the race at the last race and have the chance to fight with the lead group."

Colin Edwards 5
"We have made several improvements in the last few races, lets hope they come in handy and allow us to find the right setup of the bike to be able to be with the top CRTs."




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL POSITIVE AHEAD HONDA HOME GRAND PRIX

Motegi: LCR race Stefan Bradl and his crew hits Motegi circuit this weekend for the first of the three flyaway races. Honda's home track is one of the favourites of Bradl who not only likes the track, but also the people of Japan.The young German continues his rookie of the year season at a track where he won the second grand prix of his career in 2008 in the 125cc class.

The 22-year-old is just behind Bautista in the current championship and well ahead of the second best rookie. The Motegi race gives Bradl another opportunity to earn his first MotoGP podium, a finish that is certain to come.

Before the first session on Friday, Stefan and his Team Manager Lucio Cecchinello visited the NISSIN R&D Tochigi Centre (the R&D division one of the world most popular braking system factory). Both Stefan and Lucio enjoyed very much the special tour inside the Japanese factory including the various departments and the test laboratories: the duo met the Nissin engineers involved in the development of MotoGP technology and had a "car driving braking test" at the Nissin Tochigi test circuit.

Stefan: "Motegi is one of my favorite race tracks and this GP it's even more special to me because I am a Honda MotoGP racer. I like the warmth of Japanese fans and will do my best to get a good result for my team and the Honda fans. I already cancelled the bad memory of last race in Aragon. We have the potential to fight for a podium finish and now we must stay very concentrated."