I had difficult preseasons in the last few years, due to the bike, injuries, etc. However, this winter we have been able to have a better prepared bike, so we had less trouble. There is still one test left, but we hope everything will be fine and we will be able to have a good start of the year.
Could we say that Dani is physically recovered from his injury?
I am fairly well. Naturally, my shoulder is not exactly as it was before, but I hope I will feel fine in the first race, which will be the one to tell me which is my real level. I did a lot of laps this winter, but I have not run a whole race distance yet.
Being the only team with three riders, it is clear that the high level of the Repsol Honda Team is forcing the rest to increase the pace. This can be a very, very fast championship, seeing what we saw during the preseason....
We will see as we go on. It is difficult to say what will happen. We only know that they will be very close races, that everyone will do their best. It will be more or less the same as the previous years, but there will certainly be a hard battle for the top places. As we have seen in the preseason, there will be a lot of competitiveness.
After the last test in Malaysia, is the bike a step above the rest?
No, I think that right now the bike is reacting well but I don't think it is so much above the rest. In the past we have seen that our bike is good and fast, but what is important in the championship is not what happens in one circuit, but in many. In some areas, our bike is better and in some other area, other bikes are better. In the end, I think that overall balance is the important thing.
What can you say about the following three components:
I haven't tested anything new on that area.
We've been trying to improve. Compared with the Ducati, Casey [Stoner] says the bike is very different in that area and he seems not to be as comfortable as before, so we will try to use his experience to improve the bike. This way we will be able to brake before at the entrance of the corners and that will let us improve our lap times.
We have tested them on several occasions and they still don't give the 100%, but they have a lot of potential. They allow us to improve the braking an traction, but they also give us a little more rebound. I suppose that, with time, we will be able to use them.