Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa could give a race debut to Honda’s brand new factory RC213V machine in the forthcoming US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Pedrosa may have only completed two laps on the new bike in testing at Mugello yesterday (Monday) but it was enough to convince him that a new engine and chassis can give him the best chance to fight for the world title against title rival Jorge Lorenzo.
Pedrosa only completed two flying laps on the new bike, which Honda flew into Mugello last Saturday, having crashed out at the final corner.
He told MCN: “It is second gear but when maybe I lifted the foot I might have touched again so I went into first and the engine braking came in so strong and I had a high-side. I grabbed the clutch and I saved the crash but I was so fast into the gravel I had to drop the bike.”
Pedrosa said the two laps were not enough time to gauge whether a new chassis has helped cure the persistent chatter problems that has hindered HRC all season.
But he enthused about a new V4 motor and confirmed that given the option he will run one of the new machines in Laguna Seca.
He said: “Regarding the chassis it is a little bit difficult to say because I only did two laps and on the third lap I crashed. I couldn’t go out again so about the new chassis I can’t say much.
"But the engine is a step. Normally compared to Yamaha we have some issues for the spinning and we are looking to get a little bit more drive. The new bike seems better going into the corner and the engine braking is smoother and not so sharp when you close the throttle.
"This helps a lot to enter the corner but out of the corner the bike still spins but it seems there is more drive and we need to manage this in a better way with electronics. But the bike is calmer on corner entry.”
Asked by MCN what his preferred strategy was for the Laguna Seca round in California, he added: “I think at Laguna you must go with at least one standard bike that I have been using in these last races to have some reference and to know how you are doing.
"Having two bikes would be good with this engine there. I think they will push for this and they are working so strong for Laguna.”
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed to MCN that four bikes will be flown to America for Pedrosa.
He said: “We will send four machines for Dani. Two will be the standard bike and two of the new RC213V. And then Friday for practice he can make his choice. Or if Dani only wants to use the engine then this is possible.”
Pedrosa finished the Mugello test in second position with a best time of 1.47.549.
Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner said he will more than likely race the new RC213V machine in Laguna Seca but not the new chassis as it didn't improve the chatter issues.