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GP Week : Issue 47
5 Minutes with ... DANI PEDROSA After three years and just six wins aboard the top Honda, Dani Pedrosa has often been criticised for playing second fiddle to Rossi and Stoner. Dani started the season injured, but, as he toldMICHAEL SCOTT, things are getting better GPWEEK: First off, how is your injury? DANI PEDROSA: Coming better day by day. My knee can bend almost full (he demonstrates). Still some problems in my kneecap, but on the bike it’s quite better now. Qatar was terrible, so it was impossible to go into the corner. But now as you see it is quite enough. Has it spoiled your training? Because my kneecap is so much stressed and making some friction with the knee, I cannot do it more than 15 minutes. So physical condition in general is not so good. But the knee will get better. It takes long. Everyone now has to race against Valentino Rossi, who is so dominant. Are you glad to be racing in his era, or do you wish he hadn’t been here? I like, because … one day I am done, it is better to know, okay, this was my level. Instead of trying to deceive myself. You’ve been criticised for not wanting to fight, for only taking runaway wins. The Spanish Press called you ‘The Voyeur’ because you only watched the Rossi- Stoner battles from behind. Fair? I feel that, really, people don’t know exactly what is going on in the garage. Until you have the whole information I don’t think it is fair to make this criticism. In that year it was right that I couldn’t fight in many races, but I was also the only Honda on the top all the time. For me it was the limit. I couldn’t do more. If I could fight, sure I would. Before I used to care a little bit more about the perception of the people. Now I stopped. Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are both real showmen. Why do you never do anything like that? It’s not my style. I care more about being concentrated and focused, and do the racing as best I can. I care less about making show. I don’t feel it is natural for me. If I make a show one day, it’s because it is automatic. If I have to plan things, like I will 20 stop at this corner and we will put a show … I don’t know. Where do you see your main strengths and weaknesses as a rider? Difficult for me to answer. I like when other people tell me. But I would say that my power of concentration is very high. And weakness … I have many, so to say which is the worst, I really don’t know. For example, before it was the rain. Now it’s coming a little bit better: still not good enough to win a race, but coming more normal. If you could change anything about your career, what would it be? I never thought about this question. Probably, when I crash I like to have less injuries. Because I am young and many times I went to the hospital (laughs). So in the future if I can change this, it would be good. Alberto Puig has been the guiding light of your whole career, but some think he is a bad influence on you. As before, on the critics, I think it is just … that people really don’t know him very well. From my point of view it’s not that case. Because he helped me from when I was 13 years old. He don’t want anything back, just me riding fast. 10 years together and he did everything just because of love of this sport. I really appreciate that. In public, you look very solemn. But people say in private you are different. Because when I am in the public, I am racing, and it’s my concentration. I am very focused on what I am doing. For example Rossi does this show, and it goes with him. It’s his style and natural for him. For me it is natural to be focused and concentrated, nothing disturbs me, and I am always looking straight ahead. Back to motorbike racing. You seem to use a lot of traction control in the corners compared even to other Hondas. Is that how you like it? It’s not how I like it, but it is the way we have to set up our bike now, because our engine is very … let’s say peaky. In the corner we have some problems for the edge grip, so we have to control it. What’s your opinion of electronics at the moment? For one part I like, because it sometimes stops crashing. Like you can have huge high-side in the rain for example, because this bike has so much power. But the other point, with this technology you allow to the slowest rider to get closer to the fast ones, because the difficulty comes less. But they can’t overtake them. No. Still the fast ones are in front. But if you look at the times, the gap between the first