Dani Pedrosa heads to this weekend’s Mugello MotoGP round as the leading Honda rider, second in the world standing 17 points behind leader Maverick Viñales and ten more than team mate Marc Marquez.
With all the attention focused on Viñales, Marquez, Rossi and Lorenzo, Pedrosa has worked in his typical style – away from the spotlight – and with the consistency and determination that again sees him as a title contender.
Honda have well-documented trouble with the RC213V but Pedrosa and his new crew chief Giacomo Guidotti have slowly worked it so the little Spaniard is able to now get the most from it with the least risk which two podium finishes and the Jerez win have demonstrated.
“I feel always better with this bike. We are working very well with the team and this gives me confidence,” Pedrosa told bikesportnews.com. “We arrive in Mugello in a good momentum. I have a good feeling, I can control the bike and not follow it.
“We will have to see how the new Michelin tyre works there. We tested already in Catalunya where we lapped on the revised layout and worked on the new front. We learned and we made some adjustments to the setup over the day of testing and in the end we could manage and get a better feeling. We confirmed that our base set up is good. We finished the test in a positive way so I’m confident for the Italian GP.”
Pedrosa has made two other alterations in the run up to this season. Out went Ramon Aurin and in came Guidotti, and then Sete Gibernau appeared as his rider coach. The job, it would appear, is to not only spot on track but also to keep him in the zone.
The French GP was testament to that when Pedrosa had to come from the middle of the grid, deal with turn one shenanigans and then push on. Which he did, to the podium.
“Le Mans was not easy. I had to do a mental exercise for not crashing. I had to ride aggressively but remain calm. Starting from the fifth row in fact is always complicated, but especially in France because of the first chicane.
“I’m satisfied because I did a good start and I did very well in the first corners where it is easy to get trapped in the group and have to take many risks. I had chose the rear soft to be able to attack from the very beginning and to ride aggressively. I couldn’t risk to wait four laps for the tyre to get up to temperature.”