Although he is still hampered by injury, Dani Pedrosa showed again today that the Sachsenring is one of his best circuits by posting an impressive third-fastest laptime just two weeks after his return to racing.
Yet the Spaniard is aware that this big step forward is not just because of a little more rest and recovery, but first and foremost because of the nature of the track – with less change of direction and mainly left corners.
“On the right corners it’s still pretty much the same”, the Repsol Honda rider admitted. “I expected a bigger improvement. I still feel… I mean the pain is okay, but the strength is not so good. I feel that I’m not so powerful with this arm as on the left. Still the left is not like before, but I feel much better in left corners than in right corners. So after Laguna I will have to train a little stronger on this right arm to get some strength back. But already it would be a good time, because it’s one month and one week, so the healing is more solid than last week. Last week I couldn’t really push with weights or anything, because even though I have the plate in, the healing is not so strong. But this track is mainly going to the left, so this gives me less pain.”
Aside from recovering as soon as possible, Pedrosa believes the mental aspect is another important point to fight at the front again: “To get on the top I still need more confidence in myself. Because I’m still „lazy“ on the bike, not braking so strong, which means that I don’t make the full movement of the suspension. The suspension is going, but not really strong and I don’t load the tyre fully, because I’m riding so soft. So as soon as I get back to more riding and more confidence this will mean that I will push more and this means I will get more grip.”
And grip was again a prominent topic on the first day at Sachsenring. In the morning session Pedrosa was one of many crashers at turn 11, luckily walking away unhurt. The series of crashes prompted yet another discussion about the tyre situation. Most of the MotoGP riders favour more compounds to chose from or new tyre solutions from Bridgestone, but Pedrosa sees the possible solution to the problem somewhere else than his fellow riders. “For me the biggest improvement would be to go back to the one hour practice instead of four times 45 minutes. Because then you have one morning session off, which means in the afternoon session the track is warmer and the tyres are better and you don’t need too many compounds to handle the cold in the morning and then strong [compounds] in the afternoon.”
“If we had this schedule it should be good. Because sometimes it’s really cold in the morning, like for example Laguna Seca where in the morning it’s freezing. But then midday the sun is really strong and even when the wind is strong and it feels cold, the asphalt is really warm. So you need a big difference [in tyres]. But if maybe we would go back to the one hour [session], then it would not be so critical for the third choice.”
In a safety commission meeting tonight the issue was again raised as almost all MotoGP riders appeared to discuss the topic. From early reports it appears that the solution to bring an extra compound has been accepted.
MotoGP action will resume tomorrow for the final free practice and qualifying session.
Photo Copyright: Vroom Media
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