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'Confident' Pedrosa completes Sepang sweep

8 February 2013

MotoGP title runner-up Dani Pedrosa set the pace on all three days of testing at Sepang in Malaysia, but played down the significance of his lap time dominance.

The Repsol Honda star, who won seven races as he closed in on last season's eventual champion Jorge Lorenzo, edged out the Yamaha rider on each day in Malaysia.

Lap times got faster throughout the week, with Pedrosa setting the best of the test - a 2m 0.100s - on the final morning. Lorenzo's best also came on his fourth lap, but was 0.329s slower.

Pedrosa packed up shortly after lunch, but his time remained unbeaten.

“I could have kept on testing, but it is not worth continuing if you are too tired as your feedback is not as good,” explained Pedrosa. “I had finished my programme and now I can go into details at the second test.

“This morning I was trying a couple of things for the weight balance, then I used a different feeling on the engine braking to try and improve stability and finally I finished with a tyre test.”

Bridgestone brought two new hard-specification tyres for the manufacturer riders to try, but Pedrosa wasn't too impressed.

“Basically nothing really better for my feeling with the new tyres,” he said. “Some more grip here and there but much more chatter or movement out of the corner. So not really positive with the new tyres.

“But I'm satisfied with this test overall because from the first day the progress has been good, especially with the weight and the hardware.

“Compared with last year, when the bike was all new, now we are more ready.

“It is basically the same bike as last year with a bit more weight [required for the 2013 regulations]. You can feel the extra 3kg when you brake and enter the corner.

“We've improved the weight distribution but it's still not fixed.”

Regarding his perfect sweep of the opening 2013 test, Pedrosa shrugged: “I've never really cared about lap times in the winter. I care about lap times in the GPs.

“In a test the most important thing is the feeling with the bike. Then in the first race you see the level of yourself against the other bikes.

“I feel confident, not only because of the position but also the feeling with the bike.”

Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi finished the test in third place (+0.442) with Pedrosa's rookie team-mate Marc Marquez fourth (0.536s) and Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow the top satellite rider in fifth (+0.634s).