Sunday Post Race Debrief: Dani Pedrosa

This is what Dani Pedrosa had to say to the press after the thrilling end to Sunday's MotoGP race:

"I pushed myself to the limit each lap, and tried not to make a mistake," Pedrosa said. "I was quite fast at the beginning, but I was surprised to be leading the race for so long. Then at the end, I saw the gap on my pit board go +3, +2.5, +2. Jorge was so fast, I thought this is going to be tight. I just tried to hang on, and try to close the door, I tried everything, but Jorge was too fast."

When asked about his result on a bike he had struggled on do much, Pedrosa admitted he was surprised, but still worried. "To finish 2nd is a great result, but I still have so much movement. We need to get a little bit more stability. I knew we would struggle in the race, and I'm really surprised to be second. Of course I'm disappointed, because Jorge took the lead with just half a lap to go. But I didn't expect to be up front so long." There were some definite improvements, though. "At Qatar, we had stability problems almost everywhere, even going into corners. Here, we improved that, but we still have stability problems on the straights and coming out of corners. "

Pedrosa said that the harsh power delivery was still a problem. Pedrosa had been asking for improvements for a while he said. "I think it was 2008 I first asked. When we were on the spring valve, the bike was more easy in general, easier to set up race by race. Then we changed the engine, the chassis was the same, and the bike then was also shaking all the time. "


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Pedrosa is the real deal. Not only did he pull off some hard ass racing, he has also shown he can cope with a shitload of criticism and expectations. He's well spoken, tongue-in-cheek funny and modest. Yes, he is introverted, but I really don't see why people would dislike him so much.
Because 'he is grumpy'?
Because 'Honda built a bike for him'?
Because 'he is with Puig'?
Are we serious?

Before he even joined MotoGP I resented his (was mostly Puig?) privileged attitude where it was assumed that he was next in line to replace Rossi in the top class, on the best bike. Nicky was doing a lot of the development work when Dani was hurt (which it seemed was constant) and even then, there was often grumbling from their camp about the lack of development on the bike. And of course, when he almost cost Nicky the championship…what can you say?

Since Nicky left Honda, my opinion of Dani has actually gone up. He’s shown more toughness, finishing on the podium when injured. He’s shown more willingness to wrestle a bike that is no longer the best in the paddock. I’ve even seen the ‘Pedrobot’ smile on occasion. You’re right, he’s the real deal. If he’d be more willing to attack when passed, I could actually become a fan.

Fair enough. But Honda had not given team orders and Pedrosa was just riding his own championship. At Valencia, he let Nicky pass so obviously the orders were different there. Here he actually contributed to Hayden's championship, I never hear anything about that.
And let's be fair: Nicky just isn't the best development rider, he needs too much time to fully understand a bike and the consequences of changes. It was not smart to make these remarks in the press, but I am afraid Dani was right about it. Don't get me wrong: I really like Nicky and it is fantastic that he is doing so good again.

Rider vrs Rider threads can turn to noise quick, but i'll offer my observations from the arm chair.

Nicky developed a bike that won the title while with honda. The honda went down hill after the focus was changed to produce 'mini bikes' for Dani. The ducati has been improving each meeting from Nicky's feedback, even Casey says this, while the current honda is lost at sea from lack of any development rider. It's almost like they are throwing a bunch of random things at it to see if anything sticks. Honda really needs some focus and a strong leader.

In FP1 last weekend you could see Nicky in the garage with a flock of engineers all around him listening intently to his direction.

In Dani's garage, more often then not, they talk amongst them selves while Dani watches TV.

Dani, didn't make any friends when he was out of service and harping on Nicky's lack of development. A rider can only say what the bike does for him, hard to guess what it will do for someone about 50 lbs lighter (I wish they would include rider in min weight before everyone is 4 feet tall and 100lbs). As I recall, Nicky was barred from Dani's data while Mr. Pedrosa had full access to Nicky's.

He's not much of a team player. Blames honda, blames hayden (when he had the chance), tries to get any advantage possible (such as one way data flow or the business of changing tire contract mid season). Did he even thank honda for throwing all the parts at him the last few weeks? (other then the sanitized (often fictional) press release from hrc). If I were honda and trying to sell bikes I wouldn't be very impressed with his public harping on the bike. That bike is made for HIM.

With performances like Jerez; all can be forgiving. It would be nice if he raced outside of spain too ;)

Prediction : Lorenzo to honda, Dani to Suzuki.

This is in no way, as far as I am concerned, a rider vs. rider thread. I think Dani and Nicky are both great riders in their own way. While I feel contributing valuable information is not the same as developing a bike, and the RCV211v was mainly developed by Rossi, Nicky is one of the most determined and disciplined riders in the paddock. Together with his unmistakable racing talent, he earned every one of his successes and will continue to do so.

Lo nailed it. People tend to dislike Pedrosa because they.
A) Dislike Alberto Puig and B) Are fans of Nicky. Dani still takes flak for his Estoril '06 mistake but as Lo said, he made up for it in the Cheste race that same year.

As for the perceived sense of entitlement arriving into MotoGP the 2006 season, it is easy to forget that Dani had won three world championships back to back. A triple world champion at age 20...

I think Dani's biggest challenge has been to want to compete in the top class where it is obvious that his size puts him in a sizeable disadvantage. When the bike is well set-up he has the technique to make it fly, but his small frame makes it difficult for him to modulate his riding around handling problems or in a dog-fight. I think he'll stick it through and should eventually win a championship.

How many 250 cc titles could he have earned if he had not moved-up?

WC: Hayden-1, Pedrosa-0. And Hayden never had a bike that was developed for him at the expense of anyone else. Pedrosa can't say that! He's had all that HRC could throw behind him and only failed. He's the biggest hot air ballon in MotoGP. All talk, all bluster, all excuses. Until Perdosa wins a MotoGP WC he's just another 250cc wanabe (sorry, I don't live in the EU. 250/125 are amateurs, not WC's, no mater what you want to believe). Pedrosa fans need to just admit it...given the treatment Hayden received at HRC, Pedrosa would have retired already if subjected to the same. No, Pedrosa will never win a WC. Pedrosa will go down in history as the most expensive non-world champion is motorcycle racing history.

While you are mainly disqualifying yourself with this post, I do wonder how finishing in the top 5 for four years in a row makes you a 'hot air balloon'. I do not want to know how you feel about the rest of the field.

MotoGP Results
Nicky Hayden vs. Dani Pedrosa

Starts: Hayden 116 - Pedrosa 59
Poles: Hayden 5 - Pedrosa 14
Wins: Hayden 3 - Pedrosa 8
Podiums: Hayden 26 (22%) - Pedrosa 33 (56%)

Season-end placing:
Nicky Hayden:5th, 8th, 3rd, 1st, 8th, 6th, 13th.
Dani Pedrosa:5th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd.

Last year both Suzukis, the Hayate and 4 satellite bikes finished ahead of Nicky despite the fact that he was on an official bike for the 6th consecutive year.

With that in mind, I still fail to see what Pedrosa has taken from Hayden...

I agree with genx.
I have not been a fan of Dani - to me Dani just came across as someone entitled and privileged. I think his CV as 250/125 WC was exploited by the evil Puig who pushed the entitlement aspect. It was Puig who negotiated with HRC all the deals and extras for Dani touting his pedigree. They forced HRC into the mini-bike designed around Dani for 2007/08. Sadly, the rest of the bike was just not there. They shut out Nicky. Further, Dani was smarting with Casey winning and winning - he famously said once about Casey 'I've beaten him before and I can beat him' - or words to that effect. He (maybe Puig) was desperate to push his ranking (which other rider has worn the No 2 and then No 3 badge so proudly?)

I think the last 6 to 8 months have been reflection time for Dani. He was courted by Ducati and decided to stay put at HRC. Today you see a more relaxed, honest Dani - smiling and almost charming. He has openly admitted his struggles with the Ohlins and Jerez was testimony to this effort. I don't think he is good at developing the bike. He is hugely talented and is making a mutha of an effort.

I expect Puig to get sidelined soon - with probably a more dignified (if undeserved) exit. Dani will probably have a good year but am not sure he will ever pick up a MotoGP WC. He will forever be the bridesmaid. I am beginning to like the fella but he is not at the cutting edge needed of a MotoGP WC.