23 September 2016
MotoGP Aragon: Pedrosa: Small steps have made difference
'Obviously we need just a little bit more but this championship has so many good riders that you need to be always on the point and super focused to keep the level' - Dani Pedrosa.
Dani Pedrosa carried over his race-winning form from Misano into the opening day of free practice at Aragon as the Repsol Honda rider topped the times at the Spanish circuit on Friday.
Pedrosa edged out team-mate Marc Marquez by 0.065s as Honda riders filled the top three places, with Cal Crutchlow slotting into third on the LCR machine.
At Misano, Pedrosa chalked up his first MotoGP win since Sepang 2015 but the 30-year-old says there was no Eureka moment when everything fell into place, but rather a series of 'small clicks' that has enabled him to improve his competitiveness on the RC213V in the last few races.
“The 'click' was also before Misano because already at Silverstone I was a little bit more relaxed and this is helping to be faster on the bike, so little by little it is like small clicks in a good direction.
"Obviously we need just a little bit more but this championship has so many good riders that you need to be always on the point and super focused to keep the level because as you can see this year, tyres and all the situations on the track means you need to be there to keep the same performance,” said Pedrosa, who is also now more at ease with the control electronics system introduced for 2016.
“I think the step we did with the electronics was from Austria, we had some improvement. We didn't have any upgrades but at least we are more familiar and we are adapting better with the riding and it's working better than before.”
Pedrosa used the stiffer casing Michelin front tyre at Misano and although the variation is not available at Aragon, the factory Honda rider says he has been able to put the knowledge he gained in San Marino to good use.
“With the stiffer profile, when you are on the pace you don't change the profile because the profile remains. On the soft profile you have the standard profile and once you brake, the tyre goes down and then the profile changes.
"In the corner with brakes or when you release brakes, the profile is changing and then your feeling is all the time changing if you don't have the correct set-up or correct style to run this soft casing,” he said.
“After the last race we learned a bit and then we are trying with the standard [tyre] again also, so we are trying to adapt as much as we can to ride it in a better way. I learned a little bit and I'm trying but the feeling was not special today and we need to work towards that and also the grip on the rear tyre.”
Pedrosa lapped 1.5 seconds quicker in FP2 than he did in the morning session and outlined a number of factors why he was able to increase his pace so significantly in the afternoon to knock Marquez off his perch.
“It was a little bit of everything; for example, this morning was the first run so it is more difficult and you are less used to the track. In the afternoon you know the track better, you have more laps in. This morning, lots of people changed the tyre during the run except us.
“This afternoon we started with the hard rear, which today was working better. Basically we tried the tyres today and tried to just run some laps. The track was not superb today I think because the sun was never really there and the track level never really came up in temperature. We are using a really strong rubber in this track so the feeling was not perfect with the grip today,” Pedrosa added.
“We need to work on that and see if the track improves and maybe the temperature will help us to have a better feeling.”
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