New to motogp.com?Register here
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had a tough year in 2016, but he still took an incredible victory at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli at the San Marino GP. Thereafter, bad luck struck back and the Spaniard suffered a collarbone break – among some other injuries – at the Japanese GP at Motegi; a track on which Pedrosa is the most successful rider on the grid. Pedrosa talked to motogp.com about the victory in Misano, the psychology of a tough year in racing – and his mentality as we prepare to fire up for 2017.
Pedrosa: "In 2016 I learnt a lot about attitude"
First up, that stunning win on the Adriatic:
Dani Pedrosa: “Obviously a moment like that is unforgettable; it’s unique and it’s what you’re always fighting for. I would like it to be more than that one moment given all the effort and how much you want it, but you can also see it another way: I remember the first time I ever got a podium in the World Championship and how incredible it was, or winning a race – and now ‘winning a race’ just becomes “I’ve won a race”.”
With three World Championships – one 125 and two 250, back-to-back with the first as a rookie in the class – Pedrosa’s successes have been many, but the path hasn’t always been smooth.
DP26: “This year didn’t go well, luckily we won a race and we want more. But ok, you learn a lot. You learn from every situation you live through, and sometimes you think things will happen in one way and then after it’s completely different. Or you would take things on in one way but then you end up dealing with them better or worse than expected.”
So what has been the most important aspect of 2016, other than the victory to keep his record intact of a win every year since he won a Championship?
DP26: “More than anything, this has been a year about attitude. It’s been a difficult year and working on the attitude has been the most important. These are the things you learn from and you have to look for the right path.”
The biggest change in 2016 in the premier class – aside from a new, unified software package – was the tyres, as MotoGP™ switched to Michelin rubber. With some changes from the French manufacturer in the pipeline in terms of next season, what does the ‘Baby Samurai’ expect from 2017?
DP26: “It’s still early to say; it’s an important change but it’s not defined 100%. We’re still waiting to know which tyre will be confirmed, because Michelin are still testing. It’s how you grip the ground – you can invent anything on the bike but if you have a tyre made of wood, it’s not going to grip. Then if they give you a good tyre, 90% is in place. That’s why it’s so important – it’s what gives confidence, and takes it away.”
Finally, 2017 is about to fire up. Close to his teammate in testing in Valencia despite still being in recovery after his crash in Motegi, how is he looking at the new season?
DP26: “You have to look forward – remembering what you know you can do better or what you didn’t do well; keeping your eye on what you haven’t been successful with, but focused on what you know you have inside.”
Pedrosa will be back on track for the first time this year at Sepang International Circuit from January 30th as MotoGP™ have their first Official Test of 2017 – and Qatar begins to appear on the horizon.