Dani Pedrosa Q&A: "The curiosity for a change of scene is there"

Over a decade into his MotoGP career, Dani Pedrosa has never known life outside Repsol Honda. But, as the Spaniard admits to Oriol Puigdemont, he's "curious" to know what a change of scenery could look like...

Dani Pedrosa Q&A: "The curiosity for a change of scene is there"
Podium: Race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, third place Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Second place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: second place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Pedrosa, who celebrated his 32nd birthday last Friday, has been racing in MotoGP since 2006, always as a works Honda rider, and from 2013 he's had to share the Repsol squad with Marc Marquez.

Fourth in the standings and 54 points behind Marquez, Pedrosa remains a theoretical contender for this year's title, although he's aware his chances are now looking slim, not helped by a disastrous run to 14th at Misano in the wet last month.

From the last two seasons, Pedrosa has been modifying specific things in his method and changing some elements in the background, notably employing former MotoGP star Sete Gibernau as his coach.

While Pedrosa is clearly happy from the personal point of view, although he would be even happier if the sensitivity of the current Michelin tyres was less of a restriction for someone of such a small size.

Dani, would you say 2017 has been your best season yet?

"Yes, I do. The previous seasons have been quite odd, with some ups and downs. On the contrary, this year we've been much more constant, but it's true that the championship has changed.

"With this sort of tyres and the new electronics, the average level of competition has increased. Now I am able to control the situation better, in some moments, especially in the difficult ones."

What does Michelin say when there's a situation like in Misano, where your tyres didn't work due to a lack of temperature?

"[He shrugs and smiles] I prefer not to answer."

In a recent interview, you talked about a different race approach. What did you mean?

"Now I approach each Grand Prix being more relaxed and my assessment of some things is different. That helps me to manage the weekend properly."

Did you reach that conclusion your own, or did someone help you?

"I owe it, in general, to my experience after some years and to the changes I've been doing lately on my team and on my surrounding. 

Are you happy with the bike development that Honda is doing, and with your contribution?

"Yes, I'm happy because we've been working very well and the bike has done a step forward in comparison with the one of last year.

"We have better feelings and the feedback given by the factory is what we want and what we need. Last year we were quite lost about what we needed to do a step forward.

"Now we need to do the same with next year's bike."

What are the positive and negative things about having Marquez as a teammate?

"Positive things: he's very competitive and very ambitious, he's a reference.

"Negative things: the same ones, because you have to fight against him and sometimes it's very hard.

"But apart from that, I like the competition and I never minded having someone that fast in the other side of the box."

You and Dovizioso were teammates. Did you imagine him being able to be so competitive?

"It's clear that Andrea has surprised us this year. He had done his work and we are witnessing that it's been working.

"Obviously, if the Ducati would be a different bike, maybe he wouldn't be achieving those results. In that moment, both Ducati and Dovizioso deserve the same credit."

Do you think a change of scene would be good for you?

"The curiosity is there. I've always been a person who likes learning and contributing. When I'm developing the bike, if I feel something that could help, I like to say it.

"At Honda, after so many years… I've always had very similar bikes. That means that the problems have also been similar.

"It's true that sometimes you have some curiosity and have the desire to try something different to get new information.

"Apart from that, I've always been happy inside this team." 

Do you see yourself staying linked to MotoGP when you retire?

"I would love to. You never know, but yes, I do, because it's where I've grown up and lived and I have experience and different points of view that I cannot express from my current position.

"I notice things that others don't. Motorcycling is my passion, it's what I dreamt when I was a kid."

Is there anything you've not done in life that you would like to do?

"A lot of things, but they are silly things. For example, to go to a desert on a street bike with my friends and to be able to go full gas over the sand dunes. A stupid thing like that, I would love to do it."

Translation by Irene Aneas

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