Dani Pedrosa Q and A

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Dani Pedrosa is confident he will be competitive when the new MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar next month.

The Spaniard has had a tough pre-season campaign so far and issues in setting up his new factory Honda RC212V in Sepang last week left the triple world champion down in a lowly eighth place.

Could you sum up the two days of testing in Sepang?
“We mainly focused on the new chassis and Ohlins suspension again, after the tests we did at the beginning of the month here in Malaysia.

“To be honest, the sensations on this machine are still new for me because as well as starting to work with Ohlins after so much time with Showa (both Honda and I), the chassis has changed and the electronics have evolved.

“What we’re looking for now is a good combination of everything and we still haven’t found it, we haven’t made the progress we expected.

“So we need to reflect on it, see what we need and advance in the forthcoming test in Qatar.”

You haven’t finished where you expected. Are you worried because there are only two test days left before the world championship starts?
“I’m not worried, but it’s true that we only have two days left to test and perhaps that won’t be enough time for us.

“However, that’s what there is and we have to work with that, so we’ll try and be as ready as possible for the first race.

“Honda is making a huge effort and I’m also making a maximum effort, so the results have to be noticeable soon.”

What is the problem at the moment?
“It’s difficult to explain because I have conflicting sensations. On the positive side, we have managed to get better control of the machine coming out of the turns and it’s a bit smoother.”

Do you think that Honda could do anything, like bringing new material?
“I don’t know what the plan will be because obviously, first of all we have to analyse and check what we need and what we have to do. Then, we’ll take the necessary measures.”

What would be the priority that you need to resolve?
“At the moment we have problems with the chassis and suspension. The combination hasn’t worked well and it isn’t truly matched.”

After being able to train well over the winter, without the problems of previous years; how do you feel physically?
“In the first test we did, I didn’t feel completely fit and after riding those two days, we prepared a more specific training plan concentrating on the points where I felt a little weak, for example, when braking.

“We did more arm exercises and in this second test I felt better. There are still aspects that can be improved and we have a month to go before the first race, during which time we can do it well.”

Have you improved in braking, which was one of the biggest problems last year?
“Not enough yet to be able to say that we can forget about it.”

And the electronics?
“I think we’ve advanced there, although we still haven’t managed to adjust the machine’s chassis, so we can’t really get the most out of them.

“As soon as we find the direction to take with the chassis and the suspension, we’ll be able to benefit more from the new electronics, which I think is positive.”

The next test is in Qatar, at night, conditions that are very different to those that you are going to find in the rest of the season.
“Yes, it will be a test that focuses more on the first race, but we’ll have to get the most out of it for our machine.”

The change in your garage with Alberto Puig as the team manager; do you think that it will affect you in any way? Have you noticed any differences?
“At the moment, it’s the same as before. Things are running smoothly but if we have any problems,

“I hope that they can be corrected more quickly, as he is a person who says things very clearly.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt