With two of the 18 rounds on the 2007 MotoGP World Championship calendar complete, reigning rookie of the year Dani Pedrosa is holding joint second in the standings behind Valentino Rossi following 3-2 finishes at Losail and Jerez.
The Repsol Honda rider is expected to continue pressing the former five-times premier-class champion for the remainder of the season - and here he reveals the type of challenge each circuit offers...
"I've never felt so overwhelmed by a circuit as last year. The feeling of heat is really strong and it is essential to get used to it from the very first moment you arrive in that country. It makes you suffer during the race and since it is in the middle of the desert, there is a lot of dust on the track. It's quite long, but as regards layout it's nothing to write home about."
"The Jerez circuit is very complete as regards configuration; the layout combines fast corners and strong braking sections. Therefore, the bike needs to be well balanced and the rubber suffers a lot, so the tyres play a big part in determining the final race result. As regards the atmosphere, there's a large motor biking tradition, the public bends over backwards with the riders and you feel the warmth of the people on the track."
"You can tell that the designer and creator of the Istanbul circuit has also designed other circuits that we visit, for example Shanghai, although I think that this is a much more balanced circuit. It combines uphill and downhill sections and has good asphalt. It's quite wide and the grip it offers is not bad. It has some rather slow sections, but I guess it's because it's a circuit that has been designed thinking about Formula 1. In general terms however, it's a circuit that is not bad at all."
"Shanghai is a circuit with good asphalt. When we went there for the first time, I remember that the asphalt had good temperature, although I personally don't like the circuit much. I believe the design is based on a coat of arms or something like that of Shanghai and it has very strange corners. Apart from that it is not balanced between straights, tight and fast corners. There are some very long straights and a very tight corner. I guess that it has also basically been thought out for Formula 1 races, but I personally don't like it at all."
Le Mans (France):
"Le Mans has a lot of acceleration, a lot of hard braking sections and a very fast, long corner at the end of the straight. Having a good acceleration at the exit of the corners is fundamental to making a good lap. The gearbox has to be very well set."
"Mugello is one of the most complicated circuits. It has a lot of variants, fast corners and drops. And there are the bumps on the asphalt making the set-up of the suspension very difficult. The straight is the longest of the championship and the speeds are really high. Slipstreams are essential in this race."
"The Circuit de Catalunya has new asphalt and that has changed the performance of the tyres. In any case, Montmeló is a complete circuit, with good facilities and with a quite fast average speed, and it has a very difficult first turn."