Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Qatar season opener, the Spaniard was in positive spirits about his prospects for the season. However he cautioned that it’s easy to read too much into this first weekend and lose sight of the championship.
“We’ve been doing some good testing this winter and it’s been a long time since the last race until now, but I’m looking forward to the race and enjoying it,” said the Repsol Honda rider, who claimed third in last year’s standings.
“It’s another season where there’s lots of new things coming together. The championship is very long with 18 races and you have to find the best out of the 18 races and it’s important to start good but don’t forget how long the championship is.”
There are significant changes in MotoGP this season with the Factory outfits limited to 20 (rather than 21) litres of fuel and also a new construction rear tyre being used. These have been the focus of attention for most teams this winter and when asked how he felt about the changes to the bike and whether he foresees fuel being an issue this weekend, Pedrosa replied:
“It’s hard to say because the rear tyre is different. That’s the main thing, if the tyre gives grip the bike is working but if not it can be hard to do anything. There will be issues with fuel and this race will be one of the toughest because of the night and the track configuration.”
During the winter testing Pedrosa was in strong form and – with his world title winning team-mate, Marc Marquez, missing two tests due to a leg fracture – it could open the door for Pedrosa to set the tone for their rivalry with a strong start to the season.
Pedrosa however stressed that the most important thing for any of the championship contenders is to start the season in good form and finish on the rostrum:
“Results are always important for the team, our confidence and the points. Last year you had to be on the podium constantly to have a chance for the championship.”