Honda vows to avoid complacency
|By Matt Beer||Monday, March 14th 2011, 23:19 GMT|
The works Honda riders say they cannot take victory in the MotoGP season-opener for granted despite dominating winter testing.
All eight days of pre-season running have been led by a factory-specification Honda, with Casey Stoner pipping Dani Pedrosa in another one-two for the works squad at Losail tonight.
The season commences in Qatar this weekend, but Stoner said there would be no complacency from Honda as Yamaha and Ducati could still close in.
"By the look of the lap times everyone seems to have taken a big step forward, but we're happy with what we've achieved again here and we can enter the race weekend with confidence, but at the same time everyone else will be improving their set-up so we can't relax," he said.
Pedrosa agreed that Honda had to keep pushing to maintain its current advantage.
"We kept the good feeling we had at Sepang, the test here in Qatar also went well in general and we go to the first race with a competitive bike, but for the grand prix we will have to keep working hard because nobody will give away anything," he said.
Honda's third works rider Andrea Dovizioso has been overshadowed by his team-mates for most of the winter, but the Italian - who was fifth tonight - feels he is closer than the times have suggested.
"Only myself and [Jorge] Lorenzo made a race simulation so it's difficult to compare the lap times with the other riders," said Dovizioso.
"If we look at the lap times, the gap to Casey and Dani is too big. I think this is because we used different tyres and did different work, for the race weekend we should be closer. Of course we need to keep working but I feel that we arrive at the first round competitive."