KTM’s Pedrero Previews Dakar | Interview

2012 Dakar Rally

Following n overalll fifth-place finish at 2011 Dakar, Joan Pedrero will once again be partners with three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma in 2012.

The Spanish rider Pedrero will compete aboard the MRW Red Bull AMV KTM Team, piloting a KTM 450 Rally.

This will be Pedrero’s second year on the KTM, and fourth appearance in the Dakar Rally, which begins Jan. 1 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, and end on Jan. 15 in Lima, Peru.

Throughout the Dakar Rally, Pedrero will complete nearly 5,600 miles, with half of those timed, as he and teammate Marc Coma cross South America in 14 stages, with one rest day in Chile. This will be the fourth Dakar completed on the South America continent.

Following is an pre-Dakar Rally interview with Pedrero.

Q. The start of the race is nearer every day. Are you looking forward to start the Dakar?

Joan Pedrero says: "Yes, a lot, and fortunately the date to leave for Argentina is closer every day. We are preparing the race with training, navigation and small technical details. Very few days left!"

Q. This is your fourth Dakar, the second with the MRW Red Bull AMV. Do you feel a lot of difference between the preparation you had before and the one you have now?

Joan Pedrero says: "It is completely different. Before I raced as a private rider and now I am in an official team. Everything is more prepared, with a physiologist, a nutritionist, physical trainer, we do official tests… I am very happy to be in a powerful winning team."

Q. Which areas have you improved and which do you think you can improve?

Joan Pedrero says: "Professionally I’ve improved a lot, we have a team that guides me and that makes things easier. As a rider I’ve improved in speed. I am very consistent and I learnt to finish races. The Dakar is very long and you need to know when to reduce the pace at the right moment and push when it’s needed. We also improved in navigation and we are progressing step by step in all areas."

Q. What is your job as the assistant?

Joan Pedrero says: "Mainly to give support to Marc [Coma] in any circumstances we could find, such as changing a wheel or whatever. We have to be there, close and at 100% in case he has any problem."

Q. The advantage for you is that you can learn from a World Champion and a Dakar winner. What have you learnt from Marc Coma?

Joan Pedrero says: "I learned a lot, even small details as the way to mark the roadbook. I learn every day details he has that help me go better in the race. You have a guide and learn a lot every day, when you race as a private rider it is totally different."

Q. What is your aim for this race?

Joan Pedrero says: "Above all, that Marc [Coma] wins the Dakar, that is my job. See that there is no problem and if it is like that, my personal result will show for itself. If he has a problem I will have a double one, but let’s see how it goes. I think we can do a good race; Marc can win the Dakar. For me, last year I was fifth and I think this season we can be up front again."

Q. You have been training in Morocco, which conditions did you find?

Joan Pedrero says: "The tests in Morocco are very special because, apart from training in similar situations as the ones we will find in South America, we always have a lot of fun. The atmosphere is very good and I am very grateful to the mechanics and the team."

Q. In that type of tests, which is your pace?

Joan Pedrero says: "The tests are always at a slightly slower pace than the race to avoid any injuries. The Dakar is very near and we need to be careful to avoid any trouble in the race."