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|12-10-2015, 08:40 AM||#1|
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Marquez and Pedrosa ride NSR500s at HRC Thanks Day
F1 star Fernando Alonso also joined in the ontrack fun
REPSOL Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa got to ride 500cc two-stroke GP bikes for the first time at an HRC event in Japan.
Both Repsol Honda riders had the opportunity to ride two classic NSR500s, one from 1984, the other 1985.
Known as the 'HRC Thanks Day', and intended as a vote of thanks to all fans and colleagues at Honda, the event took place on Friday evening with a dinner in the Tokyo Cerulean Tower Hotel.
Marquez and Pedrosa were joined by HRC Trails Riders Toni Bou and Takashisa Fujinami, and MX2 World Champion Tim Gajser.
Saturday saw the riders take to the Motegi track for practice and qualifying for the CBR250 Dream Cup.
'Once again we’ve had a good time at the Honda thanks day,' said Marquez.
'It’s a nice opportunity to meet the other HRC and Honda riders and have a chance to ride and drive many vehicles! Of course this included riding our MotoGP machine, but also the CBR 250, the new Honda NSX and the unbelievable NSR500
'It’s been great to spend this time with the Honda family and I look forward to next year! This is the last event of the year for me and Honda.
'I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2016 is a good year for all of us.'
On Sunday all riders present at the event, including HRC test riders and those from the Suzuka 8-Hours, were joined by Formula 1's Fernando Alonso and ex-F1 driver Takum Sato, who now races in the Indy Car Series.
The day started with karting, followed by the eight-lap CBR250 Dream Cup race, in which Pedrosa and Marquez finished first and second respectively despite starting from the back of the grid. That was followed by an NSR500 demo lap and an exhibition on-board RC213V machines.
Pedrosa explained: 'It’s been a really good weekend. I had the chance to have some fun and behave like a kid once again, playing with some very special toys.
'We drove some great cars and also had a chance to ride the NSR500, whilst enjoying ourselves with other riders and drivers. It was good to hang out together, talk about our seasons and see drive Honda’s new and old vehicles.
'I’d like to take this final chance to wish all our fans a very Happy Christmas.'
Alonso and Marquez swapped helmets after trying each other's racing machines on track - Alonso on the RC213V and Marquez in the NSX Concept GT car.
Casey Stoner speaks about HRC Sepang test
Marquez and Pedrosa confirmed at Honda
'Productive' second day for Repsol Honda
Marquez: ‘We salvaged 11 important points’
Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa have a go at trials riding