Pedrosa: “We’ve advanced with the electronics, but the chassis needs to be adjusted a bit more”
After more than 100 laps and almost 600km, the Repsol Honda rider improved little by little - shaving half a second off his times from the first day on the second day - but he finished with the impression that there is still work to do.
Could you sum up the two days of testing?
“We mainly focused on the new chassis and Ohlins suspension again, after the tests we did at the beginning of the month here in Malaysia. To be honest, the sensations on this machine are still new for me because as well as starting to work with Ohlins after so much time with Showa (both Honda and I), the chassis has changed and the electronics have evolved. What we're looking for now is a good combination of everything and we still haven't found it, we haven't made the progress we expected. So we need to reflect on it, see what we need and advance in the forthcoming test in Qatar.”
You haven't finished where you expected. Are you worried because there are only two test days left before the World Championship starts?
“I'm not worried, but it's true that we only have two days left to test and perhaps that won't be enough time for us. However, that's what there is and we have to work with that, so we'll try and be as ready as possible for the first race. Honda is making a huge effort and I'm also making a maximum effort, so the results have to be noticeable soon.”
What is the problem at the moment?
“It's difficult to explain because I have conflicting sensations. On the positive side, we have managed to get better control of the machine coming out of the turns and it's a bit smoother.”
Do you think that Honda could do anything, like bringing new material?
“I don't know what the plan will be because obviously, first of all we have to analyse and check what we need and what we have to do. Then, we'll take the necessary measures.”
What would be the priority that you need to resolve?
“At the moment we have problems with the chassis and suspension. The combination hasn't worked well and it isn't truly matched.”
After being able to train well over the winter, without the problems of previous years; how do you feel physically?
“In the first test we did, I didn't feel completely fit and after riding those two days, we prepared a more specific training plan concentrating on the points where I felt a little weak, for example, when braking. We did more arm exercises and in this second test I felt better. There are still aspects that can be improved and we have a month to go before the first race, during which time we can do it well.”
Have you improved in braking, which was one of the biggest problems last year?
“Not enough yet to be able to say that we can forget about it.”
And the electronics?
“I think we've advanced there, although we still haven't managed to adjust the machine's chassis, so we can't really get the most out of them. As soon as we find the direction to take with the chassis and the suspension, we'll be able to benefit more from the new electronics, which I think is positive.”
The next test is in Qatar, at night, in conditions that are very different to those that you are going to find in the rest of the season.
“Yes, it will be a test that focuses more on the first race, but we'll have to get the most out of it for our machine.”
Do you think the change in your garage with Alberto Puig as the team manager will affect you in any way? Have you noticed any differences?
“At the moment, it's the same as before. Things are running smoothly but if we have any problems, I hope that they can be corrected more quickly, as he is a person who says things very clearly.”
The Repsol Honda Team presentation will be held on March 13th, an event that you missed last year. Will it be a special day for you?
“Of course, I'm really looking forward to going, because as you said, last year, I couldn't see anything or enjoy it with the fans and this year, I'll be there to enjoy it with all of them.”
Press release courtesy of Repsol Media
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