Dani Pedrosa, currently enduring his longest podium drought since his rookie 2001 grand prix season, was back at the sharp end of the MotoGP timesheets during Monday's official test at Brno.

The Repsol Honda rider, only eighth in the race, made an appearance at the top of the timing screens on his way to a close third fastest, just 0.190s from team-mate and title leader Marc Marquez.

But Pedrosa certainly wasn't hailing a breakthrough just yet, fearing track conditions solved much of his rear grip problems.

"Basically the big change today was that the track conditions were so good after yesterday's race, with only Michelin rubber on the track the feeling is much better. So everything I was trying I was improving," he said.

"For sure I tried a few different things on the bike that helped me to be faster and more consistent, but at the same time it's difficult to say if this will completely help for the base set-up at the next races because I think the key factor was the track conditions.

"So in the next race in Austria we have a different rear tyre from Michelin, so we have to see if our changes can help us to be more near the front in the next races."

Pedrosa - who had no new parts, only "different settings in the electronics and a little bit the suspension" - also gave his most detailed explanation to date of why he has been struggling:

"Basically, a lot in the qualifying. Then when I start in the race, behind in the group, it's very difficult for me to overtake. Because on the exit of the corner, I spin and it seems like the other guys have more drive in the beginning of the race.

"So I cannot pass because I'm always exiting too far behind, then catching back up [on the brakes]. Only at the end when the tyres have less grip can exit together with the other riders and make a pass on the brakes. But by then the race is already gone.

"I think if I check my rhythm, yesterday with no issues I could be close to Valentino [fourth], with Crutchlow.

"Today I can see that with the track conditions like this it was much more easy for me to go fast, instead of like yesterday or days that the grip is less when it's more difficult for me to find the rear grip to be able to go fast in the middle of the corner.

"This is the main reason. Yesterday was difficult, no grip on the rear. Today was the opposite. So it's a little bit difficult also for me or for the mechanics when you try to work or try to make a plan, when you have this kind of effect on the tyres or the feeling with the same bike and the same rider one day to the next.

"It's complicated to adapt when tomorrow is maybe cloudy and the grip is different again. When the grip is more stable during changes of weather or track conditions, that is the key factor to be fast all the time."

Pedrosa is only working with the aluminium swingarm at the moment, while team-mate Marquez often switches to the carbon fibre version for the race.

"I have one and it's difficult because you can only have it on one bike. There is the risk of crashing [and damaging it] so you can only put it on at the last moment and then you have one bike different to the other, which is a little bit risky for the set-up if you have unstable weather for example.

"So that's why I try to focus on the aluminium. If in the next races we can have another carbon swingarm then, maybe [I'll use it again]."

Pedrosa, who will retire at the end of this season and be replaced by Jorge Lorenzo, is currently twelfth in the world championship with a best finish of fifth.

At Brno it emerged that KTM are keen to have Pedrosa as a test rider next season, a role he has also been linked with at Honda.


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