MotoGP Sepang test: Dani Pedrosa skips Sepang test session

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Dani Pedrosa has opted to miss this week’s three-day test session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, preferring to wait for engine improvements on Honda’s new factory RC212V 800cc machine. 

The Spaniard made his debut on the new V4 machine in Valencia last week, and while happy with the first rollout of the bike, he has decided to miss Sepang while HRC engineers work on improving the motor.

HRC management accepted Dani Pedrosa’s late decision to miss Sepang, though his bikes were still shipped to the Far East and sat in the Repsol Honda pit box today.

Dani Pedrosa will return later this month in the final track action of 2007 in Jerez before the seven-week winter testing ban kicks in on December 1, 2007.

A HRC spokesman said: “Dani was really happy with the performance of the new bike in Valencia, particularly with the chassis. He told the engineers that he wanted a little more power and the power delivery needed to be made smoother because it was quite aggressive.

“He didn’t want to come to Malaysia and get confused data so he will be back in Jerez. There was no time in between Valencia and Malaysia to make some of the changes needed, but by Jerez it should be better.”

Dani Pedrosa’s absence means the top three riders in the world are not present in Sepang.

Valentino Rossi is still recovering from the three broken bones he suffered in his right hand in Valencia, though had he been fully fit the Italian was banned from appearing in the Far East by Michelin, following his move to Bridgestone tyres.

And world champion Casey Stoner is also missing. The Australian too will be back in Jerez, as Ducati skipped the Sepang test while engineers build up the 2008 factory machine in time for the Jerez test.

Repsol Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden is testing in Malaysia, though he confirmed he was given the option of missing the test with the new bike still running the same specification as Valencia.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt