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Pedrosa eager to carry out race simulation

Pedrosa eager to carry out race simulation

Pedrosa eager to carry out race simulation

After testing in Malaysia, Australia and then again in Malaysia, Dani Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda team last weekend took part in the first official MotoGP tests of the 2006 season. Although weather conditions were far from ideal, particularly on the final day, the crown prince of Spanish motorbike racing still drew many positives from the experience.

In an interview conducted after the Official Test in Catalunya, Pedrosa analysed the previous three days and the preseason as a whole.

Dani, the bad weather spoiled your premiere at home a bit, didn't it?

"Yes, it's been cold and the tyres didn't get warm enough, and that hindered the bike from having the right reactions, but it's been a further experience we were missing and it's been good for the next races, because conditions are going to be very similar to this, except in Qatar."

And on Sunday, the rain finally ruined the Barcelona tests.

"It was a shame, because on Sunday we were hoping to test things we had analysed in-depth the day before, but it rained... I actually didn't want to get onto the track under those conditions, which were very dangerous due to the low temperatures. But in the end I did, with twenty minutes left, and I did only a few laps because I wasn't planning to enter the fight for the car. I hope that things work out better in Jerez this week and that we'll be able to test a few things that are pending, because this will be the last test before the first race."

The race simulation is still avoiding you!...

"You're right! I don't know what is happening but there is no way to do it, I guess that if we can, we will have to do it the first day in Jerez, or else I'm afraid I won't be able to do it until the first race."

Are you curious about doing the simulation, to know where you stand?

"More than curious, I'm looking forward to doing it to gain experience, to see how I feel at the end, both physically and on the bike, and to see if my pace drops too much as the laps go by, due to the tyres or my physical shape."

There were lost days in Malaysia due to the rain, as well as in Barcelona, and there are only three days in Jerez left for testing. Is your team a bit worried about not having done their homework yet?

"No, because this is just the situation we have now and it's the same situation everybody has when starting in a new class, so it's normal for me. We've done several tests so far; soon we'll have the first races and I will have to continue playing my part, learning all the time. I can't just arrive at the first race with the same knowledge as riders who have, for example, been racing for five years in the class."

Is it important to be able to test now at the same venue as the first Grand Prix of the season?

"Sure, it's always important to test a few weeks before in a circuit we're are going to race, but you never know if the weather conditions are going to be the same, although they may be very similar. Let's see if we have good weather both during the tests and the Grand Prix to gather a bit more of experience. Testing in Jerez before the race will be good in order to know the speeds and references of my new bike on this circuit."

How do you see your adaptation process to the class, looking back to that November day in Valencia, a date that seems an age ago now?

"I still see myself very far off what I can really achieve. Not with regards results but the feel for the bike. We haven't fixed a set position for the handlebars or the footrests and things like that yet. We are in a different circuit and have encountered different conditions. I can't say that this is the definitive bike and that this is the way I'm always going to set it up yet. We are making changes every day and that means that we're still inexperienced in this class."

Having undergone your first tests in front of the Spanish fans, do you feel any pressure?

"No, it's been just another test for me, and what I want to do is to keep on doing my job. It's true that people are expecting a lot from me, I have felt it because many people came out this weekend and asked me when I'm going to start winning races. The most important thing for me and my team right now isn't winning, but moving forward and progressing. Whatever we achieve at the first race and from then on is what matters, no matter whether it's good for the public or not. As long as it is good for me, it will be enough for the team and for me."

What is missing right now for you to start thinking about being competitive in the new class?

"You know, there are classes where you can win if you only have talent; there are other classes where you can win just because you have a good bike... But in this class you need talent, a good bike, good tyres, a good team... You need to have everything in its place and experience, a lot of experience, and right now that is exactly what I don't have."

Any final conclusions from the Official Test?

"The conclusions are... right now all conclusions are positive for me because this has been the first time lapping with the MotoGP bike at the circuit. If I were to come back next week and do a worse job, then I would be a bit more negative; but it was my first time here. I arrived accustomed to Malaysia, and the bike didn't behave the same as in Sepang. I had been testing for a longer time there. What we experienced last weekend in Barcelona is what we are going to find this season. At least until the middle of the year I'll spend the Friday and Saturday before the race discovering new things, because I won't know the bike well, nor the circuits, because the references have probably changed a lot."

MotoGP, 2006, Dani Pedrosa

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