Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Honda racer sets his sights on MotoGP world title at the 12th time of asking.
No rider has won as many grands prix as Dani Pedrosa without being crowned world champion but the Spaniard has not given up on his quest for MotoGP’s ultimate prize.
In what is his 12th season in motorcycling’s top tier, the 31-year-old boasts 29 race victories, has twice been runner-up in the title race and has only once finished the season outside the top five – last year.
But despite playing the role of MotoGP‘s ultimate bridesmaid, Pedrosa is still confident he can make the final step up.
“Every year we go through pre-season testing and prepare for the first race with the same motivation as the previous year – to fight for the World Championship, otherwise we would not be here,” he said.
The first obstacle to overcome for Pedrosa is within his team, teammate Marc Marquez having won the world title in three of his four seasons in the top class, including his debut year in 2013.
But if there has been a sense of frustration for Pedrosa occasionally playing second fiddle to his countryman, he does not show it.
“We all know Marc’s talent,” he said. “This is certainly good motivation. We get along very well and that also is a positive point.”
The Honda pair are languishing in relatively unheralded territory in the championship after the opening race in Qatar, Marquez in fourth and Pedrosa a further place back.
But going into this weekend’s Argentine Grand Prix, Pedrosa is brimming with confidence having now cleared what has so often been his bogey track in Losail.
“Throughout the season, all the riders have better and worse tracks,” he explained, “and Qatar has always been a difficult track for me. We were able to finish quite close to the podium positions, which is good, and now I’m focused on the coming races.
“During your life and career, you go through different stages. Ups and downs are always there to be approached in different ways. Right now, I have a lot of experience and I feel like I’m putting it together in order to make the most of it.”
There have been changes for Pedrosa in the off-season, a new crew chief in Giacomo Guidotti, while former MotoGP racer Sete Gibernau has become an extra pair of eyes with regards to his riding style.
And Pedrosa said: “I’m happy with my boys. We have a good team, with experience and a great attitude. We all understand that we really need each other’s experience, strength, attitude and talent in order to make the best of it.
“Sete is not in an official role, he’s attending a handful of races as my friend, sharing his insight and experience, and together I believe we can make progress.
“We both have valuable feedback for the engineers and it’s great to have him when he is able to be here.
“All my team certainly make me feel happy and confident, and I strongly believe that’s the first step to give the best version of myself.”