Repsol Honda Team were unveiled in Madrid, as the Japanese manufacturer celebrated their 25th year of collaboration with the historic Spanish sponsor. The event was presented by Spanish journalist Izaskun Ruiz (later joined by Ernest Riveras) and held at Campus Repsol, where reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo were joined on the stage by MotoGP and Repsol Honda legends Mick Doohan and Alex Crivillé.
The first say came from Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau: “We’ve been sponsoring Honda for 25 years, but the collaboration started much earlier. Together we’ve scored great results, but we’re still hungry for more. This year we can boast a very strong talented team and a crew, that gives the best every single day. We’re confident that our collaboration will be even stronger and more successful in the future”.
Then, the mic went to HRC Chairman Tetsuhiro Kuwata: “Our main goal remains to improve our products. Every year we work hard to do it, especially to give our riders the most competitive weapon to ride to win. We’re glad to welcome Jorge [Lorenzo] in our team and we want to say ‘thank you’ to him for accepting our proposal. We strongly believe in Lorenzo’s skills and we’re sure that this year will be great”.
After some words by Crivillé and Doohan, Marc Márquez became the first of 2019 rider pair to speak during the event: “I’m glad to be part of this family and I’m happy with the great results I’ve given so far to them, a team I used to watch when I was a child. Winter was boring for me because of my shoulder surgery, but many people are helping me in the rehabilitation and I’m thankful to all of them for what they’re doing. I’m working hard to be 100% fit for the season and my goal is to score great results and suffer no injury“. Here’s what Márquez said about the fact people consider him and Lorenzo as a dream team: “It’s a bit early to say it. Before being called Dream Team, we need to prove that we are like that and the only way to do it is by scoring the best results available“.
After the contribution from Marc Márquez, the mic was given to Jorge Lorenzo, who’s ready to face a new challenge: “These colours are beautiful, as they represent a team boasting a long history and many victories. I’ve done very well with the teams I’ve raced with so far, but Honda represents the next level about quality and attention to details. There will be a lot of pressure on me, I know it, but I’ll try my best to achieve my goals”. What about the injury suffered in Italy? “It was unexpected for me, honestly, and now I’m trying to touch my left wrist as little as possible. It usually takes a long time to fix a scaphoid fracture, but fortunately now there’s a simple surgery, that makes recovery time much shorter. I won’t be at Sepang, but I hope to be fit for Qatar Test. I have already tested the Honda RC213V and, despite being at just 80% of my potential, I was impressed by both the bike and the team”.
Lorenzo had also something to say about Dani Pedrosa, who used to be a Repsol Honda Team rider before being replaced by the man from Mallorca: “It feels strange: Dani has retired from racing and me, I will replace him. I wish he had continued racing for some more years, but he’s made a different decision and we must deal with it. He made a lot of sacrifices for this project and we must be grateful for what he achieved with this team”. In conclusion, Lorenzo spoke his goal for 2019 season: “I hope to get well soon and to be officially part of the ‘Dream Team’.”
Translated by Alessandro Palma