Dani Pedrosa looked incredibly disappointed as he almost fell off his bike again when he returned to the pits and walked into his garage with his head well and truly down. It has been an extremely tough weekend for the Repsol Honda rider who despite crashing, managed to finish twelfth and salvage four championship points in extremely difficult conditions.
Difficult weekend on the whole for Pedrosa
The riders have admitted after each round and after testing that they are looking to improve the acceleration of the Honda on corner exits; a key factor in the racing that leaves them behind literally when up against the likes of the Ducati. The TT Circuit Assen is a tricky circuit too, and it can catch out even the most experienced of riders as we witnessed this weekend. Pedrosa appeared to find things difficult throughout the weekend, but just when things where on the up he fell undoing all of the progress he had worked so hard to make.
Thirteenth in FP1, eleventh in FP2, these are not results we are used to seeing from a factory Honda team. The Free Practice session that counts is FP3; the results from this session determines which ten riders will automatically progress into the main qualifying session (Qualifying 2). Unfortunately for Pedrosa he could not make it work as he only managed to finish thirteenth quickest, so the only way he would be in contention with a grid position in the top ten was if he was one of the top two riders during qualifying one.
He was not, he was only sixth fastest and so had to start the Assen GP from sixteenth on the grid; something that is practically unheard of. Something seemed to have click during the final Free Practice session when he finished fourth quickest, but it did not stick and so all he could do was hope for the best during the race having only finished fifteenth quickest during the morning warm-up session.
Wise tyre choice from Pedrosa
Rain had hit the TT Circuit during the Moto2 race and it had to be ended two laps early. It continued and the MotoGP was declared as a wet race. Pedrosa opted for the soft option, full wet Michelin tyre and although the rain stop momentarily it was not long before it became so heavy that Race Direction were forced to red-flag it and hope it would ease enough to restart the race. Pedrosa, who had grew in confidence in the conditions was in sixth position and on the previous full lap and still progressing and so would start from sixth on the grid when it restarted.
Just when he must have thought his luck was changing he fell one lap into the restarted race at turn nine as, like in many incidents all weekend, the front tucked under! Any confidence he had gained was now gone and as he remounted his bike to continue in the race, he teetered round in the wet until the end where he claimed twelfth and four championship points.
Pedrosa left feeling unlucky in the lottery
After what Pedrosa described as a “pretty tough weekend” he said that “races like today are a lottery”. He felt his “strategy of running the soft tyre had gone well” in the first part of the race. He admitted going slowly as the track initially dried before the rain hit again, he said, “When it started to rain I upped my pace very quickly while others were at a disadvantage.” He “felt unlucky” when Race Direction decided to stop the race, a decision that surely they had to make as conditions were awful, but the Spaniard felt “It turned out that thinking ahead of trying to pick up a different strategy wasn’t beneficial."
Talking about his crash Pedrosa said it was down to having “a new tyre without too much grip”. He felt that it had “been a difficult Grand Prix” but remains hopeful for the rest of the season saying, “We will try to find better solutions for the next race and regain our feeling in order to go faster.”