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Pedrosa wants to prove competitiveness after Japan result

Pedrosa wants to prove competitiveness after Japan result

A surprise return to the podium for Dani Pedrosa at Motegi means the home fans will be excited about his prospects at Jerez, but the Repsol Honda rider is playing it cool.

Last year’s winner at Jerez, Dani Pedrosa has not finished outside the top two at the southern Spanish circuit since his move up to MotoGP in 2006, but with the Repsol Honda rider still fighting to get 100% fit another first or second place at the Gran Premio de España would be a significant achievement.

Pedrosa has fought back from adversity before and his third place at Motegi on Sunday, the Spaniard crossing the line just four seconds behind race-winning compatriot and rival Jorge Lorenzo, was a big step forward for the factory Honda star.

After a visit to HRC last week with his new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso the pressure was on for both riders at the weekend and given Pedrosa’s recent injuries and his problems in practice and qualifying his great start to the race and his stamina over 24 laps were reasons to be cheerful.

Nonetheless, the former 250cc and 125cc World Champion was typically pragmatic as he previewed another huge weekend in MotoGP, remarking, “It was great to get such an encouraging result in Japan right before we go to Jerez because now we have some momentum which we must try to maintain. Still, despite getting on the podium at Motegi, which I was really pleased with, we mustn’t kid ourselves that we are fully competitive just yet.”

“We struggled quite a lot in the practice sessions at Motegi and we’re under no illusions that we have to keep working hard to bring our package up to its full potential,” stated the man from Barcelona. “Having said that, I’m really looking forward to Jerez and it’s always a very special experience for me to race there. The fans are so passionate and give me and all the Spanish riders incredible support.”

Pedrosa’s highly consistent Italian colleague, Dovizioso also arrives at Jerez in a positive frame of mind following two fifth place results in his first two races as a factory rider. For Dovizioso, progress in Japan came in the form of reducing the margin of 27 seconds by which he trailed race winner Casey Stoner in Qatar, to just a nine second gap to Lorenzo last Sunday at round two.

“At Motegi we proved that we can fight hard for the whole race giving 110 per cent effort,” commented the MotoGP sophomore. “I was happy about the race result in Japan because we succeeded in closing the gap to first place, but we still have to work to improve the machine package. In Japan we couldn’t actually do any development on the bike because of the bad weather conditions which affected most of the sessions.”

“There’s still a lot of things we need to test, including some new parts. Obviously we’ll have to see what we can get done at Jerez, while also working on the set-up for the race. The Jerez circuit is not one of my favourite tracks, but I will still give it my all this weekend.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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