Repsol Press Release: Interview With Dani Pedrosa

After the first test of the MotoGP season at Sepang, the Repsol media service issued an interview they did with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, in which he talked about how the test went, about the parts he tested, and what the plans are for the next test in just over two weeks' time. Here's the interview:

"I've always trusted myself, my confidence never diminished"

The Repsol rider finished the first tests of the year clearly satisfied, recovered from his shoulder injury and showing a great level on the bike

Dani Pedrosa was one of the main protagonists in the first tests of the year held at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. After setting the second fastest time in the last session, the Repsol rider finished the tests with good feelings both about his shoulder and his Honda RC212V.

What is your global assessment about this three testing days in Malaysia?

"Overall, I am happy with how the test went, because we had three good training days. I think that the best news are that my arm has been improving this winter. After the last races I had many doubts, so now I am happy. It is clear that I still lack strength, but I can work on it and I hope to be able to improve it in the time I have left before the season begins. The important thing is that I have no longer problems feeling my hand and it doesn’t go numb. The last day I did a longer run to see how it would respond and it wasn't bad."

And about the bike, what did you find out?

"We have been testing the chassis and the engine, which we will continue analyzing in the next test. We also tried some suspensions, both front and back, and we have come up with some clear ideas. We only need to do small changes and fine-tune some details".

Have you already decided if the best way would be to use the 2010 or the 2011 version of the chassis and engine? 

"No, because I run most of the time with last year bike and very little with the new one. The 2011 version has some good things, but I will need to tune the settings a little bit more to make the things I didn't like work well"

When you talk about the "new bike", do you refer to the whole 2011 version or the one with the 2010 engine?

"I have not tested this year’s bike complete".

After this days of testing, Valentino Rossi dispelled the doubts he had and included you among his favourites to fight for the championship What do you think?

"I think it is usual. If a rider is fast, it is natural to say that he is one of the candidates. Some days ago they asked me the same thing when he didn't put me as one of his favourites. I think we have to wait until the races begin and then see who are the contenders".

After seeing the results you get in this tests do you feel more confident?

"I’ve always trusted myself, my confidence has never diminished".

What do you think about Simoncelli’s results?

"I think he has done a good test. He has set very consistent times in all sessions and has done a very good job in general. We will have to confirm it in the races".

Do you expect new parts for the next tests?

"For the next tests we will not use any new material, we will keep checking what we had here, because we want to be certain about what really works and what doesn’t. During this three days I run mostly with the 2010 bike and I only tried the 2011 chassis and engine for a few laps. I am still not sure of which parts I like and which ones I don't. The biggest change with this chassis was on the brakes, where we have gained a lot of stability".

Do you think it is possible to mix the 2010 and the 2011 bikes?

"I did not ask that, and it will be a good question for the Honda engineers. I hope we will be able to obtain a good package, it doesn’t matter from which year is each part. The important thing is to get a good bike".

How would you assess your physical form right now?

"I still lack a bit of form, but I am very satisfied of how I have recovered the feelings on the arm. I have no cramps, no problems with blood circulation and, although I clearly lack strength, I am happy with the results".

About the bike you used in Valencia 2010 which was the working path you followed?

"The aim we had for the bike this winter was to keep the good things and improve what didn’t work so well last year, but of course without losing the positive points, but that is not always so easy". 


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and should do well, if he can stay healthy all year. There's no doubt that he's got the talent, he's proven that time and time again. It will be interesting to see who fares well over the first few races of the season as I think that will really show us who will actually contend for the last 800 title.

Dani says,"I only tried the 2011 chassis and engine for a few laps" over three days of testing?

What was he testing? the feel of various grips? seats? the way the stickers on the fairing matched his leathers?

I get that he could test alternative swingarms/forks/hand grips/mapping and such. I thought that these would be tested on the engine/chassis expected to be used in 2011 so they rider could test them as a system.

Help me out and tell me what am I missing. or is Dani just playing games?

It's possible that the chassis was well refined and doing the job by the end of 2011. You don't need to replace something that's working. Plenty of electronics to test and the behaviour of a new motor combined with new electronics would take some time to understand completely.

Perhaps HRC are trying to work out which rider is giving the best development direction and using Pedrosa as their baseline on the 2010 bike - which would make sense.

Presumably Simoncelli wasn't testing much in the way of new parts, so by his speed on a baseline bike they can afford to give Pedrosa more room to expirement and then see which of the three - Pedrosa, Stoner and Dovisioso - can find a definitively faster package. Being HRC that doesn't mean they'll put all their eggs in one basket and run just one bike configuration, but if they can get an idea of which rider is their best bet then they'll know where to direct the bulk of their attention.

By my calculations Casey Stoner should be able to lap Rossi at the season opener. This will lead to a Sete Gibernau Gypsy curse causing Stoner to lose the championship to Pedrosa. Lorenzo of course jinxed himself by running the number JL, but that goes without saying.

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