MotoGP: An Interview with Daniel Pedrosa. One Year To Win
In 2004, Dani Pedrosa became the youngest ever 250cc World Champion, and after a second title in his second year, he prestiged to the elite class of MotoGP. 116 starts later, he has accumulated 71 podiums and 22 wins in the premier class, but at the risk of facing the unwanted title of the best rider to never win a World Championship. However, in 2012 he took the fight to Jorge Lorenzo but was just short of the crown after an early crash in Australia. Lorenzo took the title but Pedrosa will hope to not be disheartened and continue his strong run of form into next season, but with increased competitiveness, it will be a much greater feat, but if anyone can do it, Pedrosa must fancy himself. A unique characteristic about Dani Pedrosa is that he stands at a measly 1.58m, or 5 feet 2 inches, and is not only the shortest, but the lightest at 51kg. Regardless of all this, he is still one of the brightest talents and at 27, he will believe this could be his year and I was lucky enough to be able to ask him some questions.
DT: How do you feel 2012 went for you?
DP: Pretty good, successful and I also enjoyed it a lot and had fun with the bike. The whole season – with my team and all my fans, it was a good year!
DT: Do you feel it was a vast improvement from 2011?
DP: Obviously, just from the point I wasn’t injured!
DT: What were the main differences for you between 2011-12?
DP: The fact I wasn’t injured was a huge factor and I think this is clear for all to see.
DT: Do you think that 2013 will be your Championship year?
DP: I’m really not sure. For sure this is the goal we are working towards, I have the will to make it happen and of course the confidence
DT: How much more competitive will 2013 be, with Rossi returning to Yamaha?
DP: It’s hard to say at the moment, so far we’ve seen him riding fast but we don’t know how this will be during the year if he will progress more or not, but I’m sure he will be fighting near the top
DT: What have you learnt as yourself as a rider and a person throughout last season?
DP: Last season was a little different for me as I relaxed more at the races, I had a more open relationship with my mechanics and my team and all the people around me. I experienced the season in a more relaxed manner and it felt good, I was able to enjoy it more. From the riding point of view, I learnt not to be in such a hurry. In previous years I have always been injured and so I found myself behind the points in the Championship and also physically behind, as I wasn’t fit, so to have some time to ride like I want to and not always ‘chasing’ was a good feeling
DT: Do you think that Marc can challenge for the title as well?
DP: I think so, he has shown he is very competitive so we will see
DT: Who would you consider as your main rival for this season?
DP: Obviously Jorge, he’s clearly strong enough and very consistent
DT: Which rider would you say is the most complete rider on the grid?
DP: Again, at the moment, Jorge
DT: Which parts of your riding do you feel you need to improve on?
DP: Last year I made some steps, but there is always something to improve in mid-corner and braking
DT: Lastly, who do you think will be the surprise package of 2013?
DP: I’m really not sure, it’s too early to say. It depends how you look at it because it’s not a ‘surprise’ that Marc is fast or Valentino is competitive again for the people ‘inside’ racing because we know their talent. I would say the surprise may come from one of the satellite riders, but at the moment, I don’t know who!
By Daniel Takyi - MotoGP correspondant for RTR Sports Marketing In the pictures: Dani Pedrosa Pictures courtesy of Repsol Honda Team HRC