Strong start for Pedrosa despite "complicated" bike

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Dani Pedrosa said that after Aragon he received plenty of messages saying how impressive it was to see him battling aggressively with Valentino Rossi. It's something that has been lacking with Pedrosa in the past but in Japan he has looked energised by that fight and appears ready to finish the season in a similar vein.

After the opening day of practice he was second fastest but admitted that he was surprised at how difficult it was to ride his Honda throughout the day.

"Today was a hard day because we didn’t expect the bike to be this complicated to ride," said the Spaniard. "We had so many problems into the turn and out of the turn. It’s really tough to find a good compromise with the setting. But we have to keep working with the team and try to get the best setting for this layout to put the bike as high as possible."

Pedrosa is still chasing his first win of the year but having shown that the arm pump problems that led to surgery at the start of the year are now a thing of the past he could be very strong in the coming four races despite still needing to find an ideal setup for this weekend.

"We tested a lot of things out in the practice sessions today and we finished in a good position, but we encountered more problems than we had expected. However, we are working as best we can to reduce these problems and go faster. We shall see just how much we are able to improve tomorrow. For the race it’s more about tyre choice and race strategy, but first of all we need to find a way to put the bike in a better place."

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Steve English

By Steve English