Pedrosa: "A new and very different circuit"

Pedrosa: “A new and very different circuit”
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Dani Pedrosa commenced a learning process in the United States on Tuesday, adapting to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) as this week’s private test began. The Repsol Honda Team rider ended the opening day in second position.

Although the day marked the first time that Pedrosa had been led by MotoGP™ newcomer and teammate Marc Márquez, the championship runner-up of 2012 was keen to explore new possibilities as he endeavoured to learn the venue as quickly as possible.

"It’s a new circuit – and a very different one at that," he began. "This makes it important to put in plenty of laps, to get your reference points established: braking markers, gear changes, finding out whether you are best off in second or third gear – things like that. It was good to ride a lot of laps today and also to see how the tyres faired…even if the grip levels aren't especially good, the overall feeling is positive."

There was also optimism for Márquez. Having headed the field, the 20-year-old was excited by the smooth nature of the circuit, despite its distinctly up-and-down nature.

"It’s a fun circuit because there's not a single bump on the track," he was keen to report. "There was no grip at the start and we were sliding around a lot, but gradually the lines were cleaned up and we could tackle it better. In the first part of the track, where the flowing chicanes are all linked up, is a very tricky section; it is a physically demanding part of the circuit where you have to use a lot of strength to change direction quickly. It is definitely a key point of the track. There are three right-handers later on, all linked together, making it hard to find the ideal line.

"We are finding our way steadily though. Today was all about learning those lines, rather than trying out too many things with the bike. Tomorrow we will start to adapt the gearing and the electronics, as we have a lot of work ahead of us."

Behind the Honda duo, closest rival Jorge Lorenzo – who had led the way in Malaysia – finished third for Yamaha Factory Racing.

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