While the MotoGP riders get to bask in the tropical heat of Sepang, the 125 and Moto2 riders are left to test in the more temperate climes of Valencia. While Eastern Spain at this time of year can be an uncertain proposition, the weather gods were favorably inclined for this test, leaving MotoGP's support classes to practice under excellent conditions. Good conditions meant the teams all got plenty of work done, and after posting around 150 laps each, there was lots to talk about.
On the eve of the first MotoGP test of 2011, the Repsol Honda team held their launch in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. There, team boss Shuhei Nakamoto presented Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa to the waiting press, and the three riders talked about their hopes for the 2011 season.
Most ominously of all for the rest of the MotoGP field, Casey Stoner told the press how proud he was to be wearing Repsol Honda colors, just like his great hero and role model, Mick Doohan. Stoner has been compared to Doohan many times, as similar in temperament and riding style, as well as in his voracious appetite for victory. In his day, Doohan liked to win the same way that Stoner does now: with a 20 second gap over the competition. From Tuesday, Casey Stoner gets a chance to pursue that ambition, though doubtless Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will all do their utmost to prevent him.
The importance of Indonesia to MotoGP will come as no surprise to regular readers of MotoMatters.com. Indonesia retains a huge fan base for motorcycle racing's premier class, as witnessed by the fact that it is the country with the highest number of searches for the term "MotoGP", according to Google Insight, with nearly 3 times as many as the country in second place, Italy, and nearly four times as many searches as Spain.
Almost everything about Moto2 is new: A new formula, new bikes, new riders - at least, a significant number of new riders. To introduce all this novelty to our readers, and give them a peek into the new series, here's a selection of photos taken at the Moto2 at Jerez, which took place this weekend. All photos courtesy and copyright of Honda Pro Images: