Repsol Honda Team launch in Zaragoza, Spain
The kick-off of the World Motorcycling Championship is just two weeks away, in the city of Doha, where the Qatar GP will be held. Right before the start of what promises to be an exciting season, today Thursday the presentation of the Repsol riders and teams who will defend their colors in the 2008 Championship took place, in an event whose central figure was the Aragonese capital and the International Exhibition 2008.
Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden as members of the Repsol Honda Team; Julián Sim¢n, of the Repsol KTM 250cc team, and Esteve Rabat and Marc Márquez as members of the Repsol KTM 125cc team, have been named Ambassadors of the Expo 2008.
The presentation started at midday with an official reception by the Mayor of Zaragoza, Mr. Juan Alberto Belloch, of the Repsol riders in the Town Hall of the city. Next, the protagonists of the day were able to visit and see for themselves how construction is going on at the exhibition, which is planned to open to the public next June 14th . Before that, they had the chance to admire the photographic exhibition “Repsol Champions” in the city's Chamber of Commerce, with historical images of World Champion Repsol riders like Angel Nieto, Alex Crivillé and Jorge Martínez Aspar, among others.
In the afternoon the more emotive acts of the presentation took place. First, the Repsol riders were named ambassadors of the Expo Zaragoza 2008, and after a press conference at the International Press Centre, the big moment of the day arrived, with a public presentation of the Repsol Teams in the Chamber of Commerce. There, in a packed auditorium, the fans from the Aragonese capital were able to watch the public presentation of the Repsol riders from the inside of the hall. For the rest of the fans, there were screens outside which gave them the chance to follow the event without missing detail. The big moment came with the presentation of the spectacular Repsol Honda RC212V 2008 with state-of-the-art lights and visual effects. The Melocos musical act and the questions asked by fans to Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden were a couple of the other remarkable moments of the final event.
Tomorrow Friday, Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden will travel to the Jerez Circuit, where the MotoGP 2008 training sessions will be held next Saturday, the previous step before the start of the 2008 World Motorcycling Championship. Next week it will be Sim¢n, Rabat and Márquez's turn on the Andalusian track
DANI PEDROSA: “This was my first time in Zaragoza and it's always interesting to visit places like this. As soon as we reach Jerez, we'll see how the recovery on my hand is doing, and then there will be very important tests for me. I'll be able to check my physical form and see if I can push hard or not. Depending on the result, then maybe we'll dedicate more time to all the work we couldn't do this last winter. Both Nicky and I are definitely going to try to do the most for our team, and as you can see, we've both been in the top places in many races, and that's a point in our favor. I feel lucky, because if I look back, when I started, I already felt the luckiest guy in the world. That said, having I've reached where I am now, I still feel happier deep down inside than when I was younger. However, the excitement is still the same, and seeing yourself taking steps forward is very important in one's life.”
NICKY HAYDEN: “I'd never been to Zaragoza, this is my first time and I'm enjoying it. The life of a rider is difficult because we have to travel a lot and we also suffer injuries, but to say that my job is tough might be slightly exaggerated, because I think we live quite well. Of course, sometimes it's not easy; being a motorcycle factory rider takes up a lot of time, a lot of traveling and time spent away from home, falls and what not, but I've always thought it was the best job in the world. Being part of the Repsol Honda Team, which is probably the best team in the world, is something I wouldn't swap for anything.”
JAUME GIRO': “I thank Zaragoza for the warm reception the Repsol team has received. We can say with pride that we are the only sponsor to win titles in all categories, adding up to a total of 29. This year we want to increase that number. The MotoGP team must win the title as it did in 2006, and to achieve that we have two exceptional riders who are Nicky Hayden, who already knows what it is like to win, and Dani Pedrosa, who while wearing number 2 can only aspire to No. 1. In the two smaller categories we hope to see our riders regularly on the podium. This is the challenge for Repsol this year in the World Motorcycling Championship.”