Dani Pedrosa has admitted that Repsol Honda needs to 'work very hard' to be able to compete with FIAT Yamaha and Ducati in MotoGP 2010, and on home turf and at a circuit at which he has not finished any lower than second since 2005, the Spaniard is hoping to be able to ring the changes at Jerez de la Frontera this weekend.
Following one of his characteristic lightning-fast getaways, Pedrosa briefly led the Qatar curtain-raiser earlier this month from the second row of the starting grid, but ultimately faded away to a distant seventh at the chequered flag, four spots and almost 15 seconds adrift of less experienced team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
The 24-year-old's chief complaint under the Losail spotlights was of handling woes and a consequent lack of race-long stability from his RC212V, and he will be using the two days of practice and qualifying at Jerez to hone the set-up of his machine – as he bids to return to form with a vengeance around a track at which he triumphed in 2005 en route
to back-to-back 250cc title glories and again in the premier class in 2008, and one that the Sabadell native palpably enjoys.
“Jerez is always a very special race for the Spanish riders and I'm really looking forward to this weekend,” enthused the former MotoGP World Championship runner-up of a circuit at which he boasts an enviable record in front of his adoring partisan supporters. “We didn't have the best start to the season in Qatar, and in Japan we couldn't race due to the problems caused by the volcano – but I hope at Jerez, with the atmosphere, which is always fantastic, and the characteristics of the circuit, the situation can be different.
“I'm determined that we make improvements from the first practice onwards – unlike in Qatar where we struggled a lot throughout the weekend – and that we'll be able to go fast right from the start. I would really like to feel more comfortable with the bike and get a good result here.
“Our rivals are very strong and I'm sure they want to make the most of their advantage, so we have to work very hard to get to their level and be able to fight with them from the beginning to the end of the race. At Jerez we will try some changes to the chassis so that the bike is not so nervous, and I'm hopeful that they will work.”