·@26_DaniPedrosa: “The unknown is how Viñales will handle the pressure of being a contender”
Third at the last official test, Dani Pedrosa closed preseason with a good feeling and a positive progression –after also finishing high up the order in Australia and Malaysia. The Repsol Honda rider, who has achieved at least one victory in each of his 11 seasons in MotoGP, will be one of the men to beat when the season gets underway on Sunday, March 26th.
How do you come into the 2017 season?
“The word would be ‘excited.’. I come into it with enthusiasm and the desire to show my best.”
At what stage is the bike?
“A bike is always evolving. It’s about looking for the balance between bike and rider, and that’s where we are, with more and more connection between both.”
Compared to 2015, at what point is the single ECU?
“Again, that depends on many factors. It’s an ECU for different bikes and for different riders.”
How has adapting to Michelin again gone?
“I’ve always had a good connection with Michelin. Despite the initial problems with adaptation, we are constantly improving.”
Will those things be one of the keys to the season?
“Without a doubt today, with the small differences between riders, everything is key.”
How do you see the talent level in MotoGP?
“The category is always the maximum expression of bikes and riders. In recent years it has gathered World Champions from different categories and generations.”
Who do you see featuring in the fight for the title?
“I see the usual candidates, but with the unknown of how Viñales will handle the pressure of being a contender. It is different being a surprise winner, to being obliged to win.”
You’ve been sharing a garage with Marc Marquez for four years. What have you learned from him?
“Many things. I’m very observant, but I’ll keep that to myself [laughs].”
Have you been on track with Lorenzo or Viñales this pre-season?
“I have not coincided with them yet because we are very focused on our work. But their times indicate that they are strong.”