How Pedrosa won in Jerez
Repsol Honda man reignites fire to take emphatic Jerez win
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