The ‘09 MotoGP season was not an easy season for Dani Pedrosa. An accident-filled pre-season, with operations and recovery time, prevented the Repsol Honda Team rider from arriving at the first race in Qatar with his homework done. Neither the motorcycle nor the rider were ready when the MotoGP stars took their places on the starting grid to compete in the first ’09 MotoGP. Since, the Repsol Team continued to drag behind, both in the technical aspects of the bike and the physical form of Dani.
In spite of all the troubles, Dani Pedrosa has added two victories to his list of MotoGP achievements. Dani Pedrosa took a few minutes out to evaluate his ’09 MotoGP season and discuss his prospects for 2010.
Question: What was the highlight of the ’09 MotoGP season?
Dani Pedrosa: "The win in Valencia a few days ago was a great moment, but the Laguna Seca win was also incredible, on that circuit and after everything that had happened since pre-season testing. What’s more, we arrived at the United States Grand Prix at the lowest point of the season, and all of a sudden, it was like rising to the highest. That was an amazing day."
Question: And crossing the finish line in the final ’09 MotoGP, what were you feeling?
Dani Pedrosa: "It was an incredible sensation because we had all been thinking, dreaming and hoping for this win all week and finally winning in front of all the fans was amazing. What I most enjoyed was the lap of honor, celebrating the win with all the fans there. I have great memories of the race and that lap of honor."
Question: What did Dani Pedrosa learn in the ’09 MotoGP season?
Dani Pedrosa: "I’ve learned that you have to be there, you have to fight and go on fighting, and that above all, you can never give up, because then you’re not going to get anywhere. You have to go on fighting; even if luck isn’t on your side, you have to keep going."
Question: How have you adapted to the options proposed by Bridgestone, and what do you think of the switch to the single tire?
Dani Pedrosa: "Well, the adaptation process wasn’t easy for us because the Honda RC212V is a bike that was developed on the Michelins and their specific performance, so we had to work throughout the season to try to make the bike competitive on the Bridgestones. And that wasn’t easy, considering that you don’t have time to test in a Grand Prix weekend and that I had such an accident-filled pre-season with hardly any time to test. As far as the single tire supplier rule is concerned, I think it was a good decision, as this year, nobody talked about the tires and the competition had one variant less that used influence, positively or negatively, some or others in every Grand Prix."
Question: After three testing days for the 2010 MotoGP season, do you think you are going in the right direction? What needs improving?
Dani Pedrosa: "It’s still too early to evaluate what we should or must improve. Valencia is an unusual and special circuit where whether the chassis goes well or badly can be camouflaged by the type of curves and angles it has. But in the next test, in Malaysia, we will quickly pinpoint whether we have a competitive base or not and if we have improved the stability of the bike when braking and entering curves with the new chassis. In Sepang, there are very fast curves, where you immediately see if the chassis is working well or badly."
Question: With less testing and the World Championship not getting back into action until April, 11th 2010 how do you spend your time without racing?
Dani Pedrosa: "Taking a break, resting and disconnecting a little are always good; it helps you to physically and mentally recover to tackle the new season as good as new. So the fact that we all have the same break at the end of one year and the beginning of the next is good. But what’s true is that it’ll be a long time without training and what’s worse, there are only a few testing days left in the pre-season between now and going to Qatar for the first race, and that’s not very much time considering all the work and tests we have ahead of us."
Question: What will Dani Pedrosa do until the 2010 pre-season testing starts in Malaysia in February?
Dani Pedrosa: "Above all, rest a little and spend time with my family and friends. I’ll also take advantage of the break to train physically and therefore, start the first test in 2010 in top shape."