Dani Pedrosa feels the high temperatures engulfing the east coast of Italy are one factor behind his recovery of speed on Friday.
In the midst of a trying season, Pedrosa was fast throughout the first day of free practice at Misano. Having led much of FP1, the Spaniard ended the day second overall, and missed out on top spot by a mere 0.065s.
Ground temperatures rose above 40 degrees in FP2, and Pedrosa believes that in these conditions, getting heat into the rear tyre – one of his issues this season – has been easier than before.
“I think [temperature] is one factor which is positive. I don't know if it's the main thing. It is more positive to have more track temperature than a difficult track temperature like Silverstone. There it was difficult to get temperature into the tyres, especially into the hard compound. I had to stay with the soft compounds.
“Instead today in the morning I was more or less using the medium compound with the front and others on the rear. I did also struggle with the hard rear but lap by lap I was able to get the temperature into the tyre. When it's cold I lose temperature.
Assessing Michelin's new front tyres, that feature a different casing from what riders tried before, Pedrosa said, “The new front was not negative.
“I think they did the change to lower the temperature in the tyre. Actually, the lap times were positive. They were in the range that they wanted. The feeling on the bike was not so dangerous, like not a good feeling with the brake or not good grip. So the running was quite positive.”
According to the 30-year old, the soft rear tyre is also a possible race option: “I did work already with the hard today but most of the riders were complaining of the hard rear. It depends on the potential, how fast you can be. The soft tyre is not soft, it's [only] softer. Maybe it's a tyre that people can race with.”
It was recently revealed that Pedrosa has been receiving some assistance from Juan Martinez, the one time crew chief of fellow Catalan Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden.
It's believed that Pedrosa was keen for Martinez to become his crew chief in 2017, something his colleague was unwilling to do. However, Martinez has recently offered a presence, “giving motivation” to the Repsol Honda man.
“I have help from people, especially people that I know, that are friends,” said Pedrosa, initially unwilling to expand on just what kind of assistance Martinez was offering. “When you are in a bad situation and you are struggling then your friends want to help.”
When pressed on whether this was technical assistance or motivational, he expanded: “They help in the way they can help, just giving motivation and things that make you feel better, go faster. Everybody from friends and family are trying to help in any way they can. Technical no, because he is not in the team.”