Repsol Press Release: An Interview With Dani Pedrosa At The Season Halfway Mark

Going into the summer break, the ever industrious Repsol Media service have issued a press release containing an interview with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, in which the Spaniard looks back over the season so far. In the interview, Pedrosa also discusses how the 1000s have affected the racing, what it takes to win a race this year, what influence the tires have had and the prospect of sharing a garage with Marc Marquez.

Read the interview in full below:

“This year we are all at the limit of our possibilities”

Dani Pedrosa, satisfied with the first half of 2012 and eager to continue pushing for the title in MotoGP’s extremely tight battle for supremacy.

Repsol Media Service - Tuesday 31/07/2012

The Spanish rider for the Repsol Honda Team has been at his most consistent so far this season, stepping onto the podium at nine of the ten races contested to date and taking victory at the German Grand Prix. Second in the standings, Pedrosa will rest up during the two-week summer break and think about the remaining eight Grands Prix that will decide the MotoGP World Championship for 2012. He remains one of the strongest candidates for the title.

You’re second in the World Championship and 19 points off the lead at the halfway stage. Is the season going as expected?

"It’s gone well. We have got good results and everything has been fairly balanced. We’ve lacked a few more wins, so hopefully we can improve the number of victories in the remainder of the season".

In a year in which consistency has been your foundation, what stands out to you about your performances so far, and what do you need to improve?

"The truth is that improvement is very difficult, because the competition is very tight and any detail can really make a difference. We must explore all possibilities".

There are eight races to go in 2012. What will make the difference in the second half of the season?

"I think in the remaining races things will be very similar to what we have seen up until now. Each race is decided by details, it is important to be as high up on the podium as possible and not make mistakes".

Indianapolis, Brno, Japan, Malaysia… Which of the remaining tracks do you expect to be strongest at and which do you like the most?

"This year we are all doing very well at every circuit —at those which we like and those which we don’t. I think this will continue and that it won’t be tracks that make the difference. You can’t make mistakes and the winner will be whoever commits the least errors".

It seems as if absolute perfection is needed to win races this year. Is that the feeling that you have?

"Yes, it really is. Whilst at the races you can think that we aren’t going forward and we can give more, but we are at the limit of our possibilities and it is very difficult to make a difference. For this reason we are often racing in a ‘queue’, with little overtaking, because we have reached a level where you can squeeze very little more out of yourself, of the bike and of the circuit".

What’s your verdict on the performance of the RC213V up to now? Is chatter still the main issue?

"The bike is going pretty well. It is difficult to find an excellent setting at every circuit. Obviously it could go a little better, but I think we're doing a good job. Chatter is one of the problems that we have. We are trying to fix it, but it's hard. There is not much expectation of improvement in this regard for the end of the season".

At Silverstone you were forced to change tyre compounds. Have the problems and lack of confidence with these new tyres been resolved?

"It is still difficult to ride with this new tyre. Obviously as the races go by we have become accustomed to them, but the limitations are still there".

How do you assess the move to 1000cc, after half a season? Is there much of a difference compared to last season?

"Yes, there is a difference. Especially in the race, because the tyres last a shorter time and this causes the bike to move more, become more difficult to control, and become harder to move when entering and exiting corners. For this reason, I think this year there is little difference between the top three and the rest".

Is this new cylinder class much different to riding the 990cc bikes from your rookie season?

"No, the way of riding with it is not very different. The power is quite similar. It is clear that the bike is different, but in terms of riding the biggest change lies in the tyres. The ones we used back then were very different compared to now and it varies things a bit".

How do you feel about the other change —sharing the track with the CRT bikes?

"These are bikes that are still evolving and have not, so far, got great power. We know that the goal this year was not to match the MotoGP bikes. It is an innovation that is useful for getting more riders on the grid and offering a better show. Let’s give them time".

In Estoril you got your hundredth podium in the World Championship and at Laguna Seca your 65th in MotoGP, overtaking Wayne Rainey and becoming the sixth most successful podium finisher in the premier class. Is it a motivation for you to achieve these spectacular milestones? Do you have a challenge that you have particular desire to match or beat?

"It is true that I have taken many podiums in MotoGP, but I have not won as many times as I wanted. I would love to achieve more victories".

You confirmed your renewal with the Repsol Honda Team a couple of weeks ago. Your future teammate Marc Márquez has listed you as his idol. How do you think it would have been for you if you had been Mick Doohan’s teammate in your first year?

"It would be very difficult to have Doohan as a teammate! I think he was a very tough rider... I don’t know if I would have been at his level, but for sure we would have learned a lot and made things very difficult for each other on track".

Last year, you made the most of the mid-season break to recover from the crash at Le Mans, but this year you have had better luck with injuries. What plans do you have for the summer?

"I will go back to Europe, try to rest, recover energy and generally enjoy a break. I’ll catch some sun, which is always good, and rest for a few days. There will be visits to friends and family to laugh and be happy, then it will be back to training".

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"... the limit of our possibilities and it is very difficult to make a difference. For this reason we are often racing in a ‘queue’, with little overtaking ...".

It´s all about the definition on excitement (primarly for the spectator):

a. Hightech, max. power = max. electr. to control it, riders are robots
b. Lowtech (rel.), reduced power and electronics, controllable by the riders brain

As everybody could see on Sunday. Casey is the only toprider one really loves to watch every race; all the little slides, corrections are beautiful to watch (as little as possible, as much as necessary use of electr. interventions), it has something genuine (as he is as a human being => that´s why he retires |

MotoGP evolution follows the "natural principles of life": Perfection (mental/intellectual, technical) reflects in exactly this manner. WSBK = similar path (ECU etc.), but some years behind (that´s why it "seems" - as I wrote above: the definition of excitement is relativ - to be more entertaining) ... Think about BSB and what they are doing (what happened this season).

The thing is, this year's BSB seems to be more strung out and obvious who the possible winners would be than last year. It seems to me that the winners are doing so by a larger margin too. It was far more exciting last year.

It seems from what Dani says that the mechanical elements of the current prototypes haven't advanced much from the 990cc days. That tires and electronic controls really dominate the series as far as the factory bikes are concerned. I just wonder where all this development is going. Once you have limited the development of the engine/transmission and learned to control the power versus "controlled" tire traction with electronics every bike will be the same and riders as well as engines will be "controlled" to give a maximized level of performance defined by the engineers. Doesn't sound like there will be much racing does it? I have to agree with Chris's comment about BSB. This may be the way forward for motorcycle racing, with controls limiting the "controls" that technology seem to be imposing on riders.

Would love to see an interview like this from the Yamaha camp, although Ben might not be quite so diplomatic as Dani.

Despite the constraints that running at the absolute limit of rider, bike and track creates it is interesting that we have 3 riders with very similar packages (argued by many to be a result of the technical regulations) using wildly different riding styles to achieve almost the same result. Many say that the riders have become robots. I can not understand this perspective. If riding a MotoGP bike was robotic then we would see all the riders riding in exactly the same manor/style.

I really like Dani and I think that although this year is going well for him, he is showing some frustration over not winning. Hope he can be at the top step of the podium this season.
All aliens, as soon as the lights go red just go as fast as they can, lap after lap with very little errors. That's why we get the "queue" factor. If one of the riders is a bit off, there is no way to make up for it with riding around problems, because the other guys are on top of their game. This was one of the few races that Stoner had to ease off and then chase down Lorenzo. I found it incredible that 3 guys were running 1 second a lap faster than the other 3 fastest ones.
Regarding technical aspects of racing, as far as I can see, there is no perfect formula. WSBK also suffers from "queue" factor, at least up front. Also, how many engines are they using each year? How much electronics do those bikes have?Moto2 which is basically equal machinery and we see the front guys so much faster than the mid pack. In BSB I heard rumors that teams are already trying to play with the standard ECU. They ban GPS on MotoGP but it's still possible to have an accurate measure of exactly where they are on track. Let's see what the future brings to MotoGP. Like Chris Pheros well said, there are different definitions of excitement.