Pedrosa: “I had a good feeling at the beginning”

A top five finish in his penultimate Grand Prix was secured by the ‘Little Samurai’ in Malaysia

Dani Pedrosa’s (Repsol Honda Team) Sunday at the Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix ended with him securing an equal-best result of the season in P5.

The Spaniard hasn’t had an easy 2018 season but at Sepang, he showed there’s fight left in the ‘Little Samurai’ after a solid ride. Pedrosa launched from P10 after a wet qualifying and made a good start, something he was focused on doing after a tenth in Q2 didn’t reflect his dry pace:

“Yes, today I focused a lot on the start because I was very far back,” explained the three-time World Champion. He continued: “But the start itself wasn’t perfect, then in the first turn I recovered quite a lot of places. Unfortunately, in Turn 3 I lost two places to Dovi and Marc.”

The two Repsol Honda teammates had a slight coming together as they exited Turn 3, costing Pedrosa a bit of time. However, the number 26 rider was able to recover and started to make progress in the opening exchanges, explaining how he “then had a good feeling at the beginning” before he started to struggle with grip in the latter stages.

“But then towards the end, I struggled more with the bike,” admitted Pedrosa. “I couldn’t perform how I wanted and then I got passed by Rins and Viñales at the end. So, unfortunately, I missed out on a good finish but it’s a little better than normal.”

An improvement of five positions from his qualifying position to his race position is a positive result, and one that comes before the final race of his career on home soil: Valencia. Pedrosa has an excellent record at the venue, with a win there last season part of seven he has in total across all classes, with the Honda rider boasting a further five podiums. Can he go out with a bang? Let’s hope so, but all Pedrosa is thinking about is getting some rest ahead of a hugely busy weekend for him:

“Yeah I’ll try to rest this week, it’s been three weeks, and try to enjoy next weekend and then we’ll go to our last race. Sure, it’s going to be busy, a lot of friends and fans coming there that want to have a good time with me so it’s going to be busy for sure but, we’ll try to enjoy the race of course.” 

Watch every race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole video library, including technical features, exclusive interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass