The season-opening Qatar Grand Prix was a somewhat low-key affair for Dani Pedrosa, who missed out on the podium and finished behind new Repsol Honda Team teammate Marc Márquez. Having analysed the situation, the 2012 championship runner-up now heads to this weekend’s race in Texas with confidence.
“Qatar was not the start we expected, but I know what the issue was so it's clear for the next race,” the Spaniard begins. “We were in Austin just over a month ago (for a three-day test) and I'm sure that will be useful for us, as we have a base setting, there are a lot of tight corners and the pace changes from section to section. However, the track will be quite different, with so many more bikes there and much more rubber laid down, so I hope the bike will still work well.”
Topping that three-day test was Márquez, who is being tipped for victory by many but is electing to approach the weekend in pragmatic fashion.
“To be on the podium in my first race was a dream come true, but now we must face the reality and focus on the job at hand,” says the 20-year-old rookie. “I am looking forward to going to Austin…we will concentrate on our work and our own agenda to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the race.”
Austin’s Circuit of the Americas becomes the fourth American track to host a round of the World Championship and the third on the current calendar, joining California’s Laguna Seca and the world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway.