Dani Pedrosa says the 2018 MotoGP world championship will see a vast number of riders able to battle for the podium starting at the season opener in Qatar which has sharpened his focus ahead of the new campaign.

The Spanish rider is gearing up for his 13th consecutive year in the MotoGP premier class and having enjoyed a positive pre-season testing programme he is relishing the start of the new season with Repsol Honda.

Having won the final race of 2017 in Valencia, Pedrosa is eager to start the year with strong momentum but sees a fierce battle for the podium in Qatar this weekend. Pedrosa has stood on the MotoGP podium on six different occasions in Qatar, his most recent coming in 2014, but is yet to taste victory at the Losail International Circuit.

“We arrive at the first race in Qatar after an intense pre-season that saw us do a lot of work,” Pedrosa said. “It looks like this is going to be a very competitive year, with many candidates for the podium. Riders have been very competitive, as have the manufacturers.

“Therefore, more than ever we have to focus on our side of the garage in order to perform our best starting with the first race.

“I feel ready for this year’s challenge and so do my team. I’m really looking forward to getting on my bike on Friday.”

The 2018 MotoGP world championship gets underway this weekend in Qatar on March 18th.


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