It has been a great weekend, exactly what we were looking for after Aragon! I am so proud thinking that in 15 races we finished first and second, 5 times! I must thank Dani, Marc and all the Team, as they all are doing a superb job! I am very happy for Dani, he did a perfect race and won again after 12 months here in Sepang. Marc finishing again on the podium is breaking all records as a rookie and this is something special!
Marc is young but has gained a lot of experience already - having won 2 titles in 125 and Moto2 - so he knows how to manage the pressure. Moreover he is a pure “racer” and he loves battles with his rivals. I think this is one of the reasons why he has so many fans!
All our engineers, in HRC at home and in the Repsol Honda Team on track, are doing a great job and the RC213V is now very fast in the straight, strong in braking and quick in acceleration so I would say… almost a perfect machine! Anyway, the competition is very tough and we will have to continue working hard, especially for next year, with new rules in place such as the 20 liters fuel capacity and the Magneti Marelli single ECU.
Philip Island is always a great place to be, and we won with Casey in the last two years, including his second title in 2011, so we have very good memories there. Last year also Dani was very fast and I believe it is a circuit that can suit Marc’s style well on a MotoGP bike. It is the first “match point” for him but I believe the best approach is to go there and try to do his best, as always, and enjoy the weekend hoping that the weather will be fine and then… we will see! Anyway, we still have three races and Dani is still mathematically in the run for the title, and very close to second position so… keep working!
The doctors did a very good job and Stefan will come to Australia. It's too early to say if he will be able to race but I hope he will do it for himself and for Lucio’s team.
We did not consider this option, as Stefan will try to race and if unfortunately he won’t be fit, we can’t think to replace him with Casey, because he had only 2 days test on a MotoGP machine in the last 11 months. Casey is Casey and Philip Island is “his” circuit, but at this level you can’t just “jump” in the competition if you don't have the proper preparation. He will be at the Island because he will be inducted as a MotoGP Legend, becoming the youngest member of a very exclusive club! The fans will see him in a parade together with former Honda World Champions and MotoGP Legends Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan, but not on Stefan’s bike!