Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa believed he would finish a wet Sepang MotoGP race last judging by his Friday times so the team took huge gamble with setup and it paid off with a fifth place in Malaysia.
Pedrosa was 18th in the wet FP2 session and the business end of three seconds slower than Andrea Dovizioso, so he took a bike to the Sunday grid that he had never ridden before, put on some soft wet Michelins and threw the dice.
“In the wet, our predictions were terrible. From Friday practice, we just expect to finish last, like in Misano, so I think to finish fifth is a positive step. I think we managed a good choice because firstly, we changed the bike. We put a new bike on the track for the wet conditions that I had never ridden before,” said Pedrosa, speaking at the track.
“The tyre choice was the soft as I could have a little more support in the corners but the problem was to keep the temperature in the centre as it was spinning and with these two long straights, it was very difficult to manage that.
“The feeling still wasn’t perfect because the tyre was spinning on the straights, but at least it gave me edge grip and I was able to lean the bike. We’ve learned something that I think may also be helpful for the technicians in the future, so we can be satisfied.”