We will think of Nicky and feel him close in our hearts when we go on track in Mugello
Dani Pedrosa has three consecutive podiums from the last three GPs – one of which was the victory at Jerez. He is second in the World Championship, with 68 points after 5 races.
Marc Márquez has three victories at Mugello: The first of his career in 2010 in 125cc, another a year later in Moto2 and the most recent in 2014 in MotoGP.
Pedrosa has claimed 8 podiums at the Italian track: He has won twice -in MotoGP in 2010 and 250cc in 2005; has been second 5 times -in 2007, 2012 and 2013 in MotoGP, and in 2003 and 2004 in 125cc and 250cc, respectively; and has finished third once -in 2008 in the premier class.
We were preparing to leave for Montmeló for a one-day test last week when we received the terrible news of Nicky’s passing. He was a great rider and an incredible person. I remember once, when I was a kid of 15 at the very beginning of my career in the world championship and he was the MotoGP World Champion: We took part in an event together and my English was very poor, so he tried to speak Spanish and he was very funny and easy-going, treating me as if I was his little brother. And then we shared the garage last year in Australia and had a great party together after the race. Like his amazing family, he had a great passion for motorcycling, and he will always be in our hearts. As for the test, we worked on the bike setup and we especially focused in trying the Michelin front tyre that we’ll use starting with the next race in Mugello. With this tyre I experienced less movement on the front, and the feeling was more consistent throughout the lap. It remains to understand how it will go for an entire race, but anyway, with my riding style I generally feel better with it and I’m confident that in Mugello it will help me a bit more.
The Mugello weekend will be very emotional. It’s tough to lose a friend, especially one who became very close during three seasons as teammates and over the years afterwards. I remember how much Nicky pushed, how hard he tried, never giving up while chasing his dream to win the MotoGP title. I also remember when I was suffering with arm-pump in 2015 and I announced I was going to stop with racing for a while after the first GP. He immediately came to see me to understand what was going on and it was him who actually recommended the doctor I had the surgery with. He was such a nice person and I’m so sad and sorry especially for his family. We will think of him and feel him close in our hearts when we go on track in Mugello, as we did at the Montmelo test last week. In Catalunya we lapped on the revised layout and worked on the front Michelin tyre we’ll have to use from now on. We learn 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 confirm that our base set up is good. We finished the test in a positive way.