Dani Pedrosa is hoping the extra motivation of a race weekend will spur him onwards as he continues to work hard with his Repsol Honda team to overcome the pre-season issues that have hampered his progress on the RC213V.
Pedrosa heads into 2016 fully fit in contrast to previous seasons but faces altogether different problems with the Honda following the switch to Michelin tyres and the control ECU for 2016.
“For the technical part, we are a little bit more in trouble compared to last year, but we are closing the gap and I think we are improving,” Pedrosa said.
“For this weekend, racing is quite different compared to testing and we focus a lot more on going fast, not only checking things on the bike. I'm much more motivated in the GPs than the test so this is quite a good thing. Although we know it is not a perfect track it's better than testing and that makes the weekend a little bit better.
“I think the tyres are quite a big thing, especially because they change the tyres quite a lot since we started testing last year. We adapt the riding and the bike and the setting to the changes we apply on the tyres,” he added.
“It's not been easy because we had problems in the first test last year and then the changing and changing of the front, so now we have to find the best combination for that.
“But as a team what we felt most was the electronics and we are still struggling a little bit there and we need to make a step in that particular point.”
Pedrosa has worked extra hard on his fitness and is grateful to be starting the new season feeling physically strong after he required surgery for arm pump at the beginning of the 2015 campaign, causing him to miss three rounds of the series.
“It's a big thing to be fit now compared to last year and that is super important, especially for the head and for the motivation,” he said.
“Obviously now we have different issues, we are a little bit back on the technical part but we have to improve in Qatar and it is the first race, so we need to keep focused.”