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A weekend of firsts for Pedrosa at Indianapolis

A weekend of firsts for Pedrosa at Indianapolis

Dani Pedrosa will be riding on a new bike, with new tyres and at a new track this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

While the majority of the MotoGP grid will be riding at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway track for the first time this weekend, Dani Pedrosa has even more on his plate than the rest of his premier class rivals as he gets to grips with his new Bridgestone tyres.

Following his sensational mid-season switch to Japanese rubber, from French fabricant Michelin, Pedrosa´s side of the Repsol Honda pit-box will be partitioned-off from teammate Nicky Hayden´s half for the first time – much like the Valentino Rossi-Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha garage split – in order to ensure data confidentiality.

Furthermore, following a very brief post-Misano test, with Bridgestone, onboard the updated pneumatic-valve RC212V, Pedrosa is set to compete with the evolving machine for the first time this weekend.

Until now Pedrosa has raced a conventional spring-valve engine in 2008, while Hayden first raced with the pneumatic-valve motor in June at Donington - after development rider Tady Okada debuted the machine at Mugello, earlier that month.

Pedrosa has opted to use the new machine following a satisfactory San Marino test session during which he noted the pneumatic-valve engine´s superior performance and improved on his best lap times from earlier in the weekend, apparently simultaneously adapting well to his newly mounted Bridgestone tyres.

`Indianapolis will be a very important weekend for us, but it is hard to say much about the track because we know so little about it,´ admitted Pedrosa.

`My first test with Bridgestone went well,´ he continued. `After leaving Misano we have worked with the data in order to make the best possible start at Indy. We only have four hours of practice on a completely new circuit, with new tyres and a new machine, so we will have to work very hard to make sure we get the best out of the package on race day.´

With only second-hand track information to go by, Pedrosa said of the Indianapolis challenge which awaits him, `I have heard that the track isn´t very grippy and it seems like there are quite a few tight and slow corners, so handling of the machine will be important. Anyway, we will do our best as always. It will be good to ride in front of the American fans again after I had to pull out of the Laguna race due to the injuries I got in Germany.´

Meanwhile, Pedrosa´s Repsol Honda team manager, Kazuhiko Yamano, commented, `Everybody starts from zero point at Indy. Dani got a good feeling from his new tyres and the pneumatic-valve engine at the Misano tests, so now we look forward to more progress. At Indy he will need all his ability to set-up a machine quickly.´

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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