Unlike most title sponsors, Repsol - main sponsors of the factory Honda MotoGP team since 1995 - do more than just pay for their brand name to be displayed.
They also actively contribute to Repsol Honda's on-track performance through their fuel and lubricant supply.
“Thanks to the fuel that our partner Repsol supplies to us, consumption has been reduced; our engines use a little less and that is due to the fuel," said HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto.
"We work very closely with our partners, in fact, we have a test MotoGP engine at the Repsol Technology Centre of the company in Mostoles. Our engineers travel to Madrid regularly to collaborate with them and their Spanish counterparts do the same, visiting our headquarters in Saitama."
Nakamoto then spoke about the main areas of engine performance that fuel and oil can influence.
“There are two notable aspects when it comes to fuel. The first is that a good fuel must offer a significant improvement to the engine's set-up and its response, making the power curve more usable," he said.
"The second important point is a reduction in fuel consumption and its reduction, whilst keeping the same performance level.
“And another of the challenges for racing fuel and lubricant is to keep the engine in perfect condition for the maximum possible number of kilometres, thus increasing its lifespan."
Nakamoto believes the HRC team, presently leading the 2011 world championship with Casey Stoner, now has a fuel that gives more - for less.
“The combustion process is the result of mixing fuel and air. A basic concept is that you can have the same performance and power with more air and less fuel. This way fuel is saved and the weight of the bike is reduced," he said.
"Due to the evolution done by our HRC personnel together with the Repsol engineers, we achieved a fuel that, despite offering the same performance as fuels from other brands, allows us to reduce consumption and, in this moment - with the 21 litre limitation - is a particularly valuable feature.
"We can say that with the fuel developed jointly with Repsol we achieved a better proportion between fuel and air”.
Looking ahead to the 2012 1000cc rules, Nakamoto confirmed that fuel consumption will be an even more important issue.
"The new 2012 regulations offer us a great challenge: same fuel capacity [21 litres] for higher displacement and power with the 1000cc engine," he said. "Thus the key will not be to achieve a higher horsepower, but to reduce the consumption for a higher performance. It is a great technological challenge for the HRC and Repsol engineers."