2013 Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Interview
When the first official testing session of 2013 MotoGP got underway last week at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the man immediately on top of the charts was Respol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard, who finished second in 2012 MotoGP behind Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, was not only quick on the first day; he led all three days of the test, finishing ahead of Lorenzo and the returning Yamaha rider, Valentino Rossi.
Following is an interview with Pedrosa, as he discusses the work completed on the RC213V and his new teammate, the rookie and Moto2 Champion Marc Marquez.
Dani Pedrosa Interview following Sepang I MotoGP Testing:
Q. Three days of testing, and you had the fastest time in all of them. Are you happy with how things went in Sepang?
Dani Pedrosa says: “Yes, I’m happy. We were able to test the bike again and made some good analysis, especially, of general aspects. These tests are important for the rest of the season. We had the time to test out what we wanted, because the weather was kind to us and we were able to put in many laps. Overall it was a positive test.”
Q. How do you feel physically? Did you feel a little soreness after getting back to work?
Dani Pedrosa says: “It is normal to have a few aches, because after a long period off the bike that’s always going to happen. With the specific nature of the type of bikes that we ride, soreness is inevitable after a winter break —even if you get the chance to ride other types of machinery during that time. It’s not really anything to do with having more or less resistance.”
Q. Unlike last year, this season the cylinder capacity has stayed the same and you are back with the RC213V. What changes has the bike had made to it since Valencia?
Dani Pedrosa says: “The truth is that there have not been any massive changes, because we had such a good feeling in Valencia. We tried to change some things that were not going so well for us but, in general, we tried to keep taking small steps in the right direction.”
Q. Your main complaint last year was that there was too much chatter. Has this problem been solved?
Dani Pedrosa says: “In these first few tests we do not focus so much on things like chatter. We have tried more to improve braking and corner entry and extra kilos have been added to the bike. The rules have changed and we have one less engine to work with this year, so it’s important to check that we have good engine durability. That’s basically what we were working on in those three days.”
Q. For the second consecutive year, the weight of a MotoGP bikes has increased. Have you noticed the three kilos extra on the bike when riding?
Dani Pedrosa says: “Yes, it is noticeable, especially when braking, because it takes more to support the bike. We tried to modify the positioning of these three kilos to find the perfect balance. Obviously we have to work harder on that. I won’t say how we’ve distributed the weight, because it’s a secret.”
Q. Some of your rivals decided to perform a race simulation in Sepang. Was it too early for you to go for one?
Dani Pedrosa says: “Well, we hadn’t planned to do a long run at the test. These are the first tests of the year and we aren’t completely clear on what parts we will be using. With the experience I have, I did not think that I needed to focus on a long run in the first three days of testing.”
Q. There are still almost two months to go before the season starts. What can be improved with the bike?
Dani Pedrosa says: “There are always things that can be improved. Things that today you think are impossible to change are reality in a few years. While there is the desire to go forward and develop the bike, the ideas do not stop. You can always improve.”
Q. Later this month, you will return to Sepang for another three days. What is the scheduled workload?
Dani Pedrosa says: “We need to improve some things with the engine; basically electronic aspects, which are important. We also have to keep working on testing durability, to check that everything is in place and reliable.”
Q. You shared a garage with new teammate, Marc Márquez, at Sepang. How did he look to you on the MotoGP bike?
Dani Pedrosa says: “I didn’t share much track time with him —only two or three corners— but his style is really impressive. He hangs off the bike a lot and has achieved great times so far. When he was here in November, he was also very fast. “