How Pe­drosa won in Jerez

Rep­sol Honda man reignites fire to take em­phatic Jerez win

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Si­mon Pat­ter­son MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

Dani Pe­drosa has proven once again that he should never be dis­counted af­ter launch­ing a blis­ter­ing at­tack at his home Grand Prix to take his first win since Misano last year.

Lead­ing from pole in Grand Prix racing’s 3000th race, he ex­tended his record of win­ning at least one race ev­ery year since mak­ing his GP de­but in 2006. Mak­ing the most of a stil­limprov­ing Honda RC213V, and a tyre com­bi­na­tion that worked to give him a ma­jor ad­van­tage over the rest of the grid, he was aided by his light weight, and able to use the medium com­pound front tyre that Marc Mar­quez and Cal Crutchlow over­loaded on brak­ing due to their heav­ier weight. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of the in­creased grip, Pe­drosa never looked back as he romped to an im­pe­ri­ous start-to-fin­ish race win.

What makes it all the more im­pres­sive is that it came on a bike that only two races ago looked to be far from per­fect, as the Rep­sol Honda team and HRC engi­neers strug­gled to adapt to the new ‘big-bang’ V4 con­fig­u­ra­tion af­ter a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence with a more tra­di­tional ‘screamer’ en­gine.

Yet, de­spite the in­cred­i­ble turn­around, Pe­drosa in­sisted af­ter the race that there had been no ‘light bulb mo­ment’, and that in­stead the im­prove­ments had come as grad­ual progress for the squad.

“I would say that we’re learn­ing more about the bike and get­ting closer to where it’s stronger,” he ex­plained. “Our set-up is get­ting bet­ter – the elec­tron­ics, ev­ery­thing is con­stantly im­prov­ing. We’re get­ting more used to the rid­ing style the bike needs, and learn­ing from our mis­takes.

“You have to add that Yamaha were not strong at a track where they nor­mally are, but what we have to try and do now is step up lit­tle-by-lit­tle. But we’re im­prov­ing, and hope­fully we can keep im­prov­ing all the time.”

How­ever, while he might be hop­ing for grad­ual progress, with a stun­ning win early in the sea­son – some­thing Pe­drosa hasn’t man­aged since 2013 – the Spa­niard has pro­pelled him­self right back into ti­tle con­tention.

And while it’s easy to write off his form in re­cent years af­ter a se­ries of false starts, in­juries and bad luck, he be­lieves that he’s in a bet­ter po­si­tion than ever to take the fight to both his team-mate and ri­vals.

“The me­dia change their opin­ion of me so of­ten, but I’m a lot hap­pier these days than I was when I was younger,” said Pe­drosa. “Back then, things came a lot more nat­u­rally but I didn’t know why I was fast or why so many peo­ple were be­hind me.

“But as you get older you have to be more con­scious of what’s hap­pen­ing. So it’s much more fun when things hap­pen be­cause of that. Re­sults come be­cause you make it hap­pen and not be­cause peo­ple say it will or won’t.”

‘Our elec­tron­ics set-up is get­ting bet­ter – ev­ery­thing is im­prov­ing’ DANI PE­DROSA

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