11 October 2015
MotoGP Japan: Pedrosa 'at strongest for two years'
'Last year I could win one race but I was also suffering physically, so that final race [win in 2014] I didn't enjoy because I had so much suffering on the bike' - Dani Pedrosa.
Japanese MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa says he hasn't felt as strong physically since 2013 after the Repsol Honda rider clinched an unexpected victory in the wet at Motegi – his first this season.
Pedrosa was ruled out of the Argentina, Austin and Jerez MotoGP rounds at the start of the campaign after undergoing surgery for arm pump following the first race of the 2015 world championship in Qatar.
The 30-year-old got the better of Valentino Rossi in a final lap scrap to seal second place at Aragon in Spain in the previous race and followed up with a maiden win this year at the Twin Ring Circuit, underlining his return to form.
Pedrosa, though, sounded a note of caution for the remaining three races, stressing that the Honda is lagging behind fierce rivals Yamaha and highlighting the need for improvement in 2016.
“Probably back until 2013 [when he last felt as good] because last year I could win one race but I was also suffering physically, so that final race [win in 2014] I didn't enjoy because I had so much suffering on the bike,” said Pedrosa.
“But today is different because in the wet, you don't have so much stress compared to the dry physically. You can focus more on the riding but like I say, technically we have to work a lot for next year and try to improve a lot because in the dry we are clearly behind.
“From the [wet] race in Silverstone where we made some mistakes, we could learn some things and this morning we already were on a good pace in the warm-up and this gives you extra confidence. In the race, I was just trying to ride and the result came with a good ride,” he added.
“The race in Aragon obviously gave me some confidence but at the same time we know in the dry we couldn't catch Jorge or Valentino and would have struggled even with the Ducatis I think in this track.
“It gives you confidence but we know our limitations with the bike in some different race tracks, so [I have] confidence for this victory for the next races but we know also that we have to be very focused; we can have not always the ideal situation, so we have to adapt the best and try to be as positive as we can because you never know.”
Giving his thoughts on the title battle between Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, Pedrosa said the intriguing championship fight was all about picking up points.
“It's a very hard situation for both, trying not to make any mistakes being at the very edge of the possibilities and that is very difficult to do,” he said.
“Obviously, we can see that they have a bike they enjoy riding and the behaviour of the bike is good and they can ride at that limit. At the same time, they have a different way to ride the bike and they make a different race, so it's more about how they race on Sunday.
“I think the fight for the championship is about the points and the points are related not only to the final result, but also to what the other people [riders] can do in between.”
Pedrosa wore a special helmet bearing the word 'Samurai' at Motegi and revealed he used the design because of his appreciation of the philosophy of the ancient Japanese warriors.
“It's the attitude and the way you approach to life and I always look at the philosophy of that people and it's one thing that I like, so why not,” Pedrosa said.
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