At final pre-season test
The Repsol Honda Team arrives at Jerez this week to take part in the final MotoGP test ahead of the 2009 season.
Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso, who is new to Honda's factory squad, will spend two days at the famous circuit in southern Spain,
continuing to fine-tune the RC212V in preparation for the first race in Qatar on 12 April.
Dovizioso's Repsol Honda team-mate, Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, is sitting out the Jerez test as he recuperates from the surgery he underwent earlier this month. Pedrosa is recovering well after an operation on 4 March which involved the insertion of a titanium screw into his left wrist and a skin graft on his left knee. The procedure was necessary following a fall at the previous test.
The 24-year-old was seen by a doctor last week who confirmed that Pedrosa's rapid recovery is going according to plan. The stitches were removed from his left wrist and he was able to begin moving the joint.
Next week Pedrosa will also start to move his knee with a view to being fit enough to contest the season opener in Qatar.
In Pedrosa's absence at Jerez, Honda's test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi will ride Dani's machine (displaying number 64) and, in conjunction with Dovizioso, will continue the development work on the RC212V, building on the technical data gathered at the previous tests.
"This is an important test for the Repsol Honda Team and we're looking to use these two days to maximum effect as we approach the start of the season”, explained Team Manager Kazuhiko Yamano. “The team gathered a lot of useful data at the previous tests in Sepang and Qatar and it's our intention to make significant progress in this final pre-season test.”
“Dani won't be riding because it's important he recovers fully after his operation, and so Kosuke Akiyoshi will ride Dani's machine. Although in a perfect world Dani would be testing here, we're confident that Kosuke can ably assist Andrea with our development programme for the RC212V.”
On Sunday at 2.
05pm Dovizioso will join the rest of the MotoGP field in the televised 45-minute timed session during which the fastest rider wins a BMW
sports car. As a test rider, however, Akiyoshi will not take part in this official timed session.