Dani Pedrosa echoed Marc Marquez's claims that the new electronics package was a big step back in development and rendered judging Honda's new 2016 spec engine futile after the first day of preseason testing at Valencia.
Coming off a splendid end to the season, Pedrosa did two runs with the 2015 bike to acclimatise to the Michelin rubber before switching to the new spec electronics, which he said were 'completely different' and 'not behaving in the right order'.
Pedrosa set the third fastest time of the day, 0.13s slower than team-mate Marquez and just two tenths slower than his best time of the 2.4-mile track in Sunday's season finale.
However, it was not outright speed with tyres and electronics that are of a concern to the Spaniard. Instead, the tyre drop off is higher but Pedrosa was keen to stress that this was only the first day and changes in set-up and riding style are still necessary.
“When I tried the new electronics, the bike was completely different, and it is clearly a step back, so there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of set up to do. The big thing is that it looks like the controls are not behaving in the right order and in the right time, and obviously we have less controls, and the way to control is different also. So the technicians have to understand, also I have to understand when the effect will come, in order to adapt my riding style.
“Because there are some limitations where we will not have so much chance to improve. Also the way you will ride is going to count a lot the electronics will attack the bike. So I think me and my technician have to learn a lot on that, and work the best way out to find a setting. At the moment, I don't know if this will be a final version, or before the first GP with the other manufacturer we will have some improvement.”
In terms of lap times with the new electronics, Pedrosa continued, “[They were] A little bit slower. I don't know exactly, but what is for sure is that the tire life is less, and the problems with the new tire are less, but as the tire drops more, the electronics behave more badly on the bike. Today is only the first day, but that's why we have to try with the limitation we will have to get the best way out.”
Pedrosa had the opportunity to test the electronics with Honda's new engine, a feature that both he and Marquez will be less aggressive than the 2015 model. Howvever, as he and his crew continued to dial in the electronics, making a direct comparision with the '15 engine was pointless.
“Unfortunately the electronics set up was so bad that I couldn't really judge the new engine. So I tried to do one go but in one go only half of the electronics were working, so I went out with no traction control one time. And the we saw that it was so complicated that I couldn't really make a comparison from the engines, because the same electronics in one bike and the other bike was not the same, so we will focus to get the best focus in one, and they try this setting in the other one.
“Knowing the ones we have been using, they will not be good enough [to race], but everybody will be on the same path, then it is about who is able to make it comfortable or use it in the better way, because I do believe that the setting one day is going to be a limit, and the it is up to the chassis and the way of riding. But I must add that today, it's too early to make judgements, too early to make statements about how it is going to be.”