Dani Pedrosa, On Future Contracts And Prospects Of Retirement

The retirement of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo's contract renewal with Yamaha have given a massive boost to MotoGP's silly season, with much talk, rumor and speculation about who will be going where in 2013. Journalists are currently grilling anyone without a contract for next year - and that basically means everyone except Stoner, Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl - about their plans for next season and the state of negotiations. With Lorenzo out of the way, the next two key players are Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, and while Rossi is restricting his comments to his commitment to making the 2012 Ducati work, Dani Pedrosa is being a little freer with his comments about his future.

At Silverstone, MotoMatters.com spoke to Pedrosa for a few minutes about his plans for next season, and the state of negotiations. In the discussion, Pedrosa touched on a few subjects, including his thoughts on retirement, an option he gave serious consideration last year, after a long period of injury.  Below is a transcript of the conversation:

Q: Jorge Lorenzo has renewed his contract for 2 years with Yamaha, are you thinking about your future? Are you talking to Honda, or other manufacturers?

Well, since Barcelona, when Honda contacted Jorge, obviously I had some contact but I must wait some more. For me it's not the moment to make a decision.

Q: What are you waiting for?

Nothing, really. Sometimes it goes easier and sometimes it goes a little later.

Q: Is it your priority to stay here at HRC?

I always said I belong in Honda Repsol, so yes, it would be great to finish my career here. But always when I have to make a new contract, I check other possibilities, there is no fixed line for me. It's been the case that I've been a long time in Honda, but it doesn't mean I will always stay here.

Q: Casey Stoner surprised us all by retiring, and you have also had difficult times in the past in MotoGP. How much longer do you see yourself racing?

Actually, every year I feel it is closer, the day I have to stop. I don't know if it's really affected by the injuries, the stress after every crash, or this kind of things. You can never say never, but... I don't know, I don't see myself racing until my mid-30s, 33, 34. I started pretty young also.

Q: How will you know when it's time?

I think you know. I think you know. One day, I think you feel it. You don't know, but you feel it. I think it comes like this.

Q: Have you ever woken up feeling like that? Or woken up feeling like that, and then changed your mind?

Yes, last year when I crashed, I felt, OK, for me this is no more about suffering and suffering and suffering and pain. But yes, next day I woke up and I still feel the will to come back and win.

Q: And that's what it is, the desire to win, that keeps you coming back?

Yes, exactly.

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I'm probably not too far behind Dani himself as one of the people who would like to see him win a championship, but every season, my hopes sink a little bit lower. I think he really could be a contender if he can stay healthy (and - hate to admit it - now with Casey out of the picture). I'd definitely like to see him stick around for another four or five seasons at least.

Maybe Yamaha should thank Spies for his services and hire Pedrosa for 2013? I would really like to see what Dani could do on the M1.

Funny to see him be teammates with Jorge (perhaps the marriage isn't so far off?) but maybe a change of marque would do Dani good.

I don't get it.

Pedrosa has had the best of everything for 7 years at HRC and still can't win a championship.

Being 2nd merely means you are the first loser.

Sure he can get off the line quickly but then often he fades in the face of stronger, heavier riders. Mind you he has a big book of excuses.

After so long not winning I'm amazed HRC still want to keep him on. The Spanish market for bikes is crumbling so his value must also be evaporating. I reckon if he wants to stay at Honda he'll have to accept a big pay cut.

The news that they approached Lorenzo must have been kick in the nuts. I still don't think his seat next year is secure.

I don't know if the approach to Lorenzo will worry him that much, since that taboo was broken with the approach to Stoner.

Anyway, he has more 500/Motogp victories than any other non-champion, beating the Biaggi-Mamola record. That may be a record no-one really wants but it's still very impressive (and it certainly wasn't always with the best of everything). He may - so far - have proved not quite as good as Lorenzo or Stoner over a season (in Motogp. That's not everything, though) but while Rossi is having whatever problems he's having, no-one else close is close to Pedrosa. And it doesn't mean he won't prove as good as them in the future. Does he make a lot of excuses? I don't think of him like that.

p.s. Also, I'd be quite happy to never, ever, ever hear that first loser line again.

means being second best when Casey retires and if Vale sticks to the red bike.
So after Jorge re-signing with Yamaha it definitely makes sense that Pedrosa is HRC priority.
May I remind everybody that Pedrosa came to MotoGP on the tracks of 3 world title in as many seasons? His record in lower classes is much better than Marquez, and it "merely" translated in 60 podiums and 15 victories in the main category (twice runner-up, never outside of top4 after his rookie season when he was 5th).
So I would argue that Marquez brilliant riding in 125 and Moto2 is definitely not a "MotoGP world title guaranty". And it does not mean by any way he would easily better Dani.
Just saying, Dani himself is proof of that.