Dani Pedrosa admitted he doesn't know the solution to his current woes as a chronic lack of rear grip continued to hinder his progress through a difficult first day of MotoGP free practice at Jerez.
High track temperatures, a track surface that offers next to no rear grip, and Michelin's harder rear tyre construction all contributed to Pedrosa suffering in acceleration and thus top speed around a track at which he normally excels.
The Catalan was the only man unable to improve his lap time in the hotter afternoon temperatures and his eventual gap to pace setter Jorge Lorenzo – 1.2 seconds – led Pedrosa to comment that Friday was “not a good day.”
“One of the big reasons is the grip on the rear,” he explained. “I can't get any good drive out of the turns. I'm struggling with this. Also I lose in some other points of the track. I cannot exit well. The story is that these bikes are so powerful so the longer you keep the power on, the better lap time you get.
“I am losing time in the straights and accelerations, which was one of my strong points. Obviously giving away time for free creates these gaps. Today I didn't improve in the second practice and need to find a way to gain some traction.
“I don't have the answer. I would probably do it. I just need to figure it out by riding, by set up.”
In Austin, team-mate Marc Marquez explained how the current Honda RC213V's issues with acceleration have forced him into taking more 'Yamaha-like', sweeping lines.
Pedrosa agreed, but feels this is more down to Honda's new machine, which features a counter-rotating crankshaft, rather than the different tyres.
“That is not because of the tyre. That is because of the bike compared to the past. You are losing time on the exit so you need to make up time somewhere. If you carry more corner speed to balance the exit loss then you are wider. You need to carry more speed and to go more outside.”
Along with Marquez, the 30-year old sampled bigger winglets and went on to explain how the aerodynamic feature has positive and negative aspects.
“It depends which tyre you are using, which rear tyre, which bike set-up, front fork springs… things like this. It's a combination. The biggest difference we tried today was a little bit less wheelie. There were also some negative affects at some point. I don't think they are super good. It depends if the rider likes them more or less. They are not just a plus.”
On the benefits of using the winglets, he added, “In the middle of the corner there is some strange feeling when you touch the throttle but I only ride for one run. I am just learning about winglets on the bike, I had never used them before anywhere.”