Date : 28/07/2010
Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa spent two days in Indonesia following Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix, visiting the Sentul race circuit as a guest instructor at the Honda Racing School. The Spanish three-time World Champion passed on precious riding advice to 16 lucky Indonesian students between the ages of 11 and 15. Pedrosa also performed demonstration laps on a 110cc Honda Blade in Repsol Honda Team colours - one of the machines used by the school at which Noburu Ueda, the former Honda 125cc Grand Prix winner, is the chief instructor.
“It was really good fun to ride the 110cc Blade!” Pedrosa said. “Of course it has very little horsepower compared to my RC212V, but I think it's very good for the kids to start understanding how to ride a bike, to be familiar with the gears and the necessary riding style”. Pedrosa, who lies in second place in the MotoGP world championship, flew directly from San Francisco after thi s weekend's race at Laguna Seca to the Indonesian capital Jakarta, and then travelled to Sentul, 40km south of the city.
The Honda Race School students and more than one thousand enthusiastic fans watched Pedrosa in his MotoGP racing leathers doing laps at the Sentul karting circuit. After the demonstration the Grand Prix star offered some advice to the aspiring riders based on his experience of starting racing when he was young. He said, “The best advice I can give you is to follow your instincts from the heart and to have fun on the bike. You have one opportunity in life, so you have to remember this and give it your all. When I started I was also very small, but I had a lot of passion,” Pedrosa continued. “I could never imagine that I would be racing in the World Championship, but I was very lucky to be part of a project - as you are now - so you have to keep dreaming and work hard to make your dreams reality”.
After spend ing time instructing the Honda Racing School students, Pedrosa agreed that he has always connected and communicated very well with children. “I don't know why, but I feel very comfortable with them,” he said. “And maybe in the future I will also think about working on some kind of a project, like my manager Alberto Puig did with me when I started with the MoviStar Cup”.
It was Pedrosa's first time in Indonesia and the first official visit to the world's fourth most populous country by a Honda MotoGP rider. Pedrosa said: “I'm very surprised to learn how many people follow MotoGP in Indonesia. They are very passionate and really knowledgeable about the championship. It's a nice country, the people are very friendly and everybody tells me that I should come again to visit Bali!”
After his visit to Indonesia, Pedrosa returns home to Switzerland for some time off before the MotoGP World Championshi p resumes on August 15 in the Czech Republic. “I will have some rest, visit my family and have some fun with my friends after so many races in a short period,” Pedrosa said. “Then it will be time for me and the team to prepare for the second half of the season and to get ready to win races.”
The Honda Racing School at Sentul enrols students from the age of 11 to 15, taking them from novice to expert level and teaching them the skills and disciplines required to succeed in road racing. The project is supported by the Suzuka Racing School in Japan.
The growing Indonesian market is an important one in which Honda is currently enlarging and strengthening its production of motorcycles. Two weeks ago the Honda President, Mr Takanobu Ito, announced that Honda will increase motorcycle production in Indonesia from 3.3 million to 3.5 million by the end of this year. He also explained that by 2011, Honda will have constructed a new facto ry, aiming to raise annual motorcycle production to 4 million.
In 2009, the motorcycle market in Indonesia across all manufacturers was approximately 5.6 million machines, with Honda holding a 46% market share. Since establishing its first manufacturing alliance in Indonesia in 1971, Honda had produced more that 25 million motorcycles in Indonesia by 2009.