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Dani Pedrosa criticises weight limit plan

Published: 14 April 2011

Updated: 24 November 2014

Dani Pedrosa has launched a scathing attack on proposals to introduce a combined rider and bike weight limit in MotoGP.

The Spaniard, who is a massive 21kg lighter than the heaviest rider in MotoGP, is frustrated that rules would penalise lighter and smaller riders like him and compatriot Toni Elias.

It emerged in Jerez earlier this month that a campaign, spearheaded by Valentino Rossi and fellow Italian Marco Simoncelli, has been launched to get a rider and bike weight limit introduced.

Simoncelli is adamant he's at an unfair disadvantage being the heaviest rider in MotoGP at 72kg. The San Carlo Gresini Honda rider said: "My problem is that I'm bigger than the other riders and this messes up the fuel consumption and I have to go for a more lean engine set-up, and this is not good for the bike's performance on the straight and the bike can push less."

Pocket rocket Pedrosa, who weighs in at a featherweight 51kg, couldn't disguise his anger at the rule plan, which will be discussed by the powerful Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association in the coming weeks.

The Repsol Honda rider, who is recovering from recent shoulder surgery, said: "This story has followed me through my whole career. In 250s everybody said I could not ride the bike because I was too small and then when I started winning they said my weight gave me a big advantage. Now it is the same in MotoGP and I am getting really tired of it because it seems that some people don't want to see me at the top. It's incredible. I've had to keep going without saying anything because of course on the straight I have an advantage with acceleration that is clear. But the other side that people forget is in the corners I have a lot less grip and I can't brake in the same way as the rest because I'm lighter and I don't resist the wind as much. I have short arms and legs and I can't distribute my weight like the bigger guys can. I have desired a lot in the past to be 10cm taller. This would help give me a better position on the bike. If I was taller I could use my body more to put weight on the front and rear at the same time but with my size I can only weight the bike in the front, middle or the rear at one time."

But American Nicky Hayden has backed a combined ride and bike weight limit and he said: "I think a lighter rider has an advantage and it makes a difference for the fuel consumption. That was the big thing when I was team-mates with Dani was I burned more fuel and with 21 litres we're constantly on the limit. I ran out on the cool down lap in Qatar. A heavier guy might get more traction, but if you watch coming off some of the corners, the lighter rider has an advantage. Look at the last corner in Qatar in the race and see the T4 split to see who was fastest. The fuel consumption is the big thing, and also tyre wear. A bigger rider uses the tyre a lot more."

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