Dani Pedrosa rules out switch to 2014 Honda

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MotoGP world championship leader Dani Pedrosa will not switch to Honda’s new 2014 factory RC213V after he completed a very brief stint on next year’s model at the Motorland Aragon yesterday (Wednesday).

The Spaniard completed only nine laps on the new prototype and he ruled out using the new ’14 spec frame when his title bid resumes in Assen next week.

Pedrosa, who holds a slender seven-point advantage over reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo heading to Holland, set a best time of the test of 1.48.928 on his current 2013 RC213V to finish in third position behind Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Marc Marquez. In his short run on the new bike, he clocked a best time of 1.49.770 and he declared he won’t be adopting a similar strategy to last season.

When Honda rolled out its 2013 bike at a post race test in Mugello last season, Pedrosa immediately liked the bike and began racing it from the next round in Laguna Seca onwards.

The mid-season switch sparked a golden run of form from Pedrosa, who won six out of the last nine races.

Having shipped the new bike over from Japan for a scheduled two-day test, the first of which was washed out by rain on Tuesday, HRC said Pedrosa could race the new frame in Assen if he wanted to.

But after such a brief outing on next year’s bike he said: “It is not the final version because for next year we have the Magneti Marelli hardware and this was not on the bike.

It was only a functional test but it is not based totally on next year’s rules and I only did nine laps. The bike is very similar. At the moment the season is going very well so I don’t want to start mixing things if they are not fully better so for sure I won’t use at Assen.”

Pedrosa completed 53-laps on his current RC213V having tried a new Ohlins rear shock, which he is expecting to use in Assen.

He added: “I tested some rear shocks to try and get some grip out of the corner. We have some positives and negatives but for Assen some things could help us because of the layout of the track.”

Marquez didn’t complete a single lap on the new bike but unlike Pedrosa, he remained at the Motorland Aragon to test the bike today (Thursday).

LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl, who is contracted direct to HRC in Japan, was also given the opportunity to complete 14 laps on the new 2014 bike.

The German was almost 0.5s faster than on his current machine with a best lap of 1.49.553 but he told MCN: “I did my fastest lap on the new bike but that’s just because we put in a new tyre after lunch when the track was in the best condition and I could improve. But for sure it is possible I could do the same with my 2013 bike.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt