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Pedrosa: "As always, we will show teamwork"

Pedrosa: 'As always, we will show teamwork'

Pedrosa: "As always, we will show teamwork"

In the aftermath of the crash which perhaps leaves Nicky Hayden out of the running for a maiden world title, Dani Pedrosa has thus far made little comment, choosing instead to stay out of the spotlight and gather his composure for the final race of the 2006 season. The Spaniard could still help his team-mate, as placing himself between Hayden and Valentino Rossi would gift the championship to his fellow Repsol Honda rider. Pedrosa gave an interview this weekend to express his thoughts ahead of his home race in Valencia.

What were your feelings when you woke up on Monday morning?

I thought that it had been a heavy blow, especially for my team mate Nicky, but also for me, for Honda, for Repsol, for the mechanics and for all the fans that have been following us throughout the season. I'm very sad about what happened in Estoril. I know that there's nothing I can change now, but there are still many chances for my team mate Nicky Hayden to become World Champion. Repsol Honda is one team and we are going to show it in Valencia, as we always do. I'll do everything I can to help him. We have a big challenge ahead but we can make it.

Nicky's behaviour and reaction on Sunday afternoon was really praiseworthy, he behaved like a gentleman. Have you thought about how you would have reacted being faced with a situation like this, i.e. if he would have hit you with you leading the overall standings?

I've thought a lot about it. He didn't want to start any kind of controversy through the media and despite everything that had happened and how angry he was, he managed to calm down and behave like a great professional. Nicky has taught a lesson of professionalism behaving in an excellent way. He accepted my apologies when I went to see him in his motorhome and he didn't foster the media, nor did he want to make a big deal out of this. I know what he told the media and despite them trying to get good headlines, Nicky didn't say a single negative word about me. And to tell you the truth, I would have understood. It was his right.

What can you tell us about what happened in corner number 6 of the Estoril Circuit on lap five of the race?

I made a good start; I passed Nicky and put myself behind Rossi who was pushing hard. I knew that Rossi wouldn't be able to escape and also that Edwards was there and that he would try to stop us to help Rossi. Suddenly Edwards passed me, almost taking me off my line and I had a big fright. Shortly after it happened again with Nicky, so I decided not to take part in the battle so soon and stayed fourth, waiting. There was a lot of race left and it wasn't the time to start absurd fights. Valentino was not escaping and being fourth was alright. My plan was to control Valentino and let the laps go by to attack towards the end.

So, I understand that your final attack was aimed at taking the victory?

Yes, that's right. Alberto Puig and I had talked about the different possibilities and our aim was scoring 50 points in the two remaining races. Honda had given us freedom to decide and we had mathematical chances. Nicky could fail in one of the races and the Yamaha had already shown along the season, that the engine is fragile. So our plan was to score those 50 points, considering that there were two circuits ahead in which we could be very competitive, and just watch what Rossi and my team mate Nicky would be doing. I'm a race rider and I obviously want to win, but all those who follow me and know me, know that I have never done it by trickery. I had never knocked down anyone in the six years I've been in the World Championship. Not even in my worst dreams would I have thought that something like what happened on Sunday could ever happen to me. I wanted to win, but in no way hindering my team mate from continuing with his fight for the title. He has been working very hard this season, he has been very regular and he had big chances to win the title. I also race to win and as long as Honda wouldn't say anything different, I had to try.

You were saying that staying fourth waiting for what would happen was alright…

Yes, that was my plan, to control the situation, to observe and to play my cards towards the end. But suddenly, in corner 6, a left-hander after the second longest straight of the circuit, I arrived too fast at the braking point and my rear tyre was up while I was operating the brakes. It was only a question of a few seconds; I noticed what was going to happen, I went through the inside looking for space enough to brake and when the front tyre lost grip I just prayed to God to be the only one to crash… It was an instant, some tenths of a second, but I remember perfectly well how my team mate was on the asphalt and his despair.

I just can say that I'm terribly sorry about what happened. Nicky didn't deserve something like this. I have already apologised to whom I had to, and I publicly commit myself to doing all I can to help my team mate to achieve the title. I will be Nicky Hayden's best help in Valencia.


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