Although pre-season testing has been going on for weeks already, Repsol took advantage of MotoGP's return to Spain for the final shakedown to stage its annual media presentation.

The homecoming is brief, with just this weekend's test to go before the first round of the championship takes the Repsol teams and their rivals back east, to Doha in Qatar, but that did not stop the unveiling of the teams and riders who will defend the petrol company's honour in 2008 in Zaragoza.

Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden continue as members of the Repsol Honda team this season, and were on show along with Repsol KTM 250cc star Juli?n Sim?n and 125cc riders Esteve Rabat and Marc M?rquez. All five opened proceedings by being officially named as ambassadors of Expo 2008, which the city will host later in the year and which they saw in construction as part of the day.

The presentation started at midday with an official reception by the mayor of Zaragoza, Juan Alberto Belloch, at the town hall before transferring to the Expo site via a photographic exhibition starring previous 'Repsol Champions' such as Angel Nieto, Alex Crivill? and Jorge Mart?nez Aspar among others, in the chamber of commerce.

"I'd never been to Zaragoza before, this is my first time and I'm enjoying it," Hayden said as he was ferried from place to place, "The life of a rider is difficult because we have to travel a lot and we also suffer injuries, but to say that my job is tough might be slightly exaggerated, because I think we live quite well.

"Of course, sometimes it's not easy and being a motorcycle factory rider takes up a lot of time, with a lot of travelling and time spent away from home, falls and whatnot, but I've always thought it was the best job in the world. Being part of the Repsol Honda team, which is probably the best team in the world, is something I wouldn't swap for anything."

An afternoon press conference opened the main portion of the day at the international press centre, ahead of the public presentation of the Repsol teams back in the chamber of commerce. For those unable to squeeze into the packed auditorium, there were screens outside which provided the chance to follow the event without missing anything.

The highlight came with the presentation of the 2008-spec Repsol Honda RC212V, which was unveiled amid state-of-the-art lights and visual effects and music from Melocos. Fans then had the chance to put their own questions to Pedrosa and Hayden before the pair were whisked away to being preparations for the final test of the year, at Jerez, beginning on Saturday.

"As soon as we reach Jerez, we'll see how the recovery on my hand is doing, and then there will be very important tests for me," Pedrosa commented, "I'll be able to check my physical form and see if I can push hard or not. Depending on the result, then maybe we'll dedicate more time to all the work we couldn't do this last winter.

"Both Nicky and I are definitely going to try to do the most for our team and, as you can see, we've both been in the top places in many races, and that's a point in our favour. ! I feel lucky because, if I look back, when I started, I already felt the luckiest guy in the world. That said, having reached where I am now, I still feel happier deep down inside than when I was younger. However, the excitement is still the same, and seeing yourself taking steps forward is very important in one's life."