Dani Pedrosa has played down Repsol Honda's performance in the recent pre-season MotoGP tests at Sepang, claiming the team does not have a significant advantage.
The Spaniard, together with new team-mate Casey Stoner, have set a fierce pace during the two tests in Malaysia thus far, performances that have seen them emerge as early pre-season title favourites.
However, while Pedrosa – who enters into his sixth season with the manufacturer at MotoGP level -, admits the 2011 RC212V has the edge in some areas, rivals are better in others.
“No,” he replied when asked whether Repsol Honda is a step above the competition. “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.”
Despite this, Pedrosa believes Honda have a better base than in previous years, though he concedes he is yet to complete a full race distance on the bike as he continues to feel the effects of the shoulder injury sustained towards the end of 2010.
“I had difficult pre-seasons 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”.
“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.”