Le Mans MotoGP Debrief: Pedrosa Reveals Rear Brake Problem

The Le Mans MotoGP race turned into a bit of a mystery for a couple of riders. Casey Stoner lost the front for no apparent reason, and Dani Pedrosa, who had looked strong all race, lost two places on the last lap of the race. Afterwards, Pedrosa spoke to the press, explaining that his problems at the end of the race had been caused by a rear brake which had failed. The Repsol Honda rider also expressed his frustration at the continuing problems with the RC212V. Here's what Pedrosa had to say.

Q: What happened at the end? Was your front tire gone?

Dani Pedrosa: No, I couldn't stop the bike. I was all the time off line and I was making mistakes.

Q: Because you were riding defensively?

DP: Not really, I wasn't closing with two laps to go, but my rear brake was finished, and I don't know. I didn't know I had no rear brake, I could push and it felt OK, I just felt I was not stopping for the last 10 laps or so. But I had Dovizioso behind, so I couldn't say "I'll brake a little bit earlier and make no mistakes," because he would get past easily. So I still had to brake very hard, but you could see that in the middle of the corner I was off line. So finally in the last lap, I lost two positions, just because of mistakes. It's disappointing.

Q: The chassis is working for you, are you anywhere near?

DP: I can't say this. I can't say it's working really. I mean the bike is going, but, I don't feel nothing special, because I can make one lap good, one lap bad, it's like you can easily make a mistake with this bike. I cannot be so constant, even though I try.

Q: It did not look like you on the bike. It was moving too much and it did not look like Pedrosa.

DP: Yes, I was fighting with the bike

Q: So really, even though you had a good race.

DP: It's a bit frustrating, because in the last two races, I lost a position on the last lap, and that's not very good, not so good feeling, because I was fighting, I did my best, and I lost in the last lap twice.

Q: Melandri had hist best result of the season after switching back to Showa. Does that make you long to be back on Showa instead of Ohlins?

DP: I think I have to deal with what I've got. Of course he did a good improvement, so he must feel better. I have to make do with what I have.  

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Who knew Dani Pedrosa even needed the rear brake?  ;-)

As one of the "leg-danglers" and the lightest rider on the grid, it seemed only natural that he would barely even use it.

The rear brake could be less noticeable unless the lever resistance is gone. Just all the braking points and muscle coordination is probably telling him he should have been going slower. When he's not it's then probably very surprising to find yourself out of line. That spot where Hayden passed him (the last right-left?) looked like he had really mistimed his breaking point rather than defensive riding gone wrong. I'm sure that was just devastating. I still think he's the best choice for Honda, now and next year. I don't think Dovisioso is as ready to win a (dry) race this year.

I'm nearly shocked.
HRC would be silly to let go of Pedrosa, he's the one who makes them look any good at all. With all due respect, Dovi looks like he's picking things up rather than actually going out and grabbing them for himself, if you know what I mean. Pedrosa is the one who seems to be able to push the bike that little bith further and extracting its full (limited) potential

Stgoner and Pedrosa. That's a line-up worth having.

Several motorcycle racers explained to me that they use the rear break at corner entry to make the bike "stable" because the break force acts behind the center of mass.

Others described it that they're using it to "turn" the bike.

And then there is Nicky Hayden who last year told the press that he's using the rear break to tame that fracking Ducati motor.

It should also be noted that in MotoGP the "motor braking" is also used at corner entry, unfortunately I can't say how much or whether this is used as some kind of ABS for the rear.

So possible one of these reasons apply to Dani.

Q: The chassis is working for you, are you anywhere near?

DP: I can't say this. I can't say it's working really.

I mean this is harsh, I doubt that HRC will swallow this easily.

For me, anything else than Dani leaving Honda by the end of the year would be a surprise.

The HRC boss has admitted as much, which is why they switched to Ohlins and why they tried to build an all-new bike this year.

The fact that Pedrosa is either the first or second Honda to the finish tells them they have more work to do.

Good luck elsewhere Dani, HRC (or should I say Repsol) is'nt putting up with it no more. A bike built for you, around you, and still no title. Fuel sensor? Rear brake? Hondas dont fail, riders do. Nicky was testing new clutches the last race of the 06 season and HE had no idea why!! I bleed Honda red and cant take no more. BIG changes need to be made in HRC and the 1st is getting rid of Dani

Fantastic engineering company that they are, Honda have a history of building bikes that great riders have had to go out and make look good. Watching Dani ride this year, I can't disagree with him that the bike is a handful. Seeing him in Qatar with both wheels off the ground and the bike wobbling going straight, is that perfect Honda engineering for you? Now look at the Yamaha, perfectly smooth, no chatter, turns in on a dime, picks up on the throttle smoothly and rockets away. The Ducati this year is even much tamer than the Honda. Are you saying that if Dani got on the Yamaha he would suck? Is this really Dani's problem?

Dovi is doing ok, but he's hardly winning races. Actually, seeing Dovi at the press conference after, rubbing a bit of salt into his teammate's wounds was a bit much, like a previous poster said, he's picking up leftovers. In a straight fight, 99% of the time, who's gonna come out on top, Dani or Dovi?

is that riders use the rear brake to tighten up or hold a line mid turn, not for retardation per se as in that context a rear is next to useless. Dani says he couldn't hold a tight line, so a failed rear brake makes perfect sense.

Yes you have to wonder just how good Dani would be on that Yamaha. But I would imagine Vale would veto that one. Dani will be with Casey at Honda next year to my mind. Lorenzo at Ducati and Rossi right where he is. Number two seat at Yamaha? Obviously Spies has first dibs there, as he is sure to put some results in soon. Otherwise? Capirossi must have had enough of that Suzuki, he still has the talent to run at the front, so why not him at Yamaha (mates with Rossi too) if Ben doesn't get it together this year.

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast - Fred Gassit -AMCN.