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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pedrosa ponders weight position after strong start


While some felt they gained little during Tuesday's rain-interrupted start to the second Sepang test, a satisfied Dani Pedrosa made the most of the time available, working on his RC213V in both dry and wet conditions.

The Repsol Honda rider, third quickest and 0.649sec behind team-mate Casey Stoner at the end of the first Sepang test, finished the day second to Stoner by 0.244sec after his 36 Tuesday laps.

"It was a good test for us, we made a couple of good runs,” said Pedrosa, who was not surprised that lap times were slower than at the previous test. “The track was very dirty at the beginning and you could feel the grip level was not so good. It was also much warmer than in the last test.

“We did some tests on the engine, to see how we can manage the power delivery, and worked on the chassis to make the bike better out of corners. Also, we worked on the rider position and it was positive.

“In the afternoon I did some laps in the rain, to get the first feeling and the impression was not too bad, but on my second run it started to dry up, so we finished early.”

December's 4kg minimum-weight rise for the MotoGP class means the Hondas are running ballast to bring them up to the 157kg limit. Politics aside, it's an issue that is causing further set-up complexity.

“We have to add weight on to the bike and where you put it is difficult,” said Pedrosa. “It's tricky as location of the weight can change the handling so much. We're trying to keep it simple because you can get a little bit lost if you move it around too much.”

A decision that has been made, at least for now, is in terms of chassis choice.

“I have chosen one chassis for this test. I believe it is the same as Casey has chosen. I chose the one that gave better feeling [at the first Sepang test], but it also gave more chattering. It is the latest chassis version,” confirmed Pedrosa.

Pedrosa, like compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), experienced less chatter on Tuesday and also believes it was due to the higher track temperature.

The only slight hiccup for Pedrosa was a late engine issue.

“On my last run I saw a red light on the dashboard so I took the clutch and stopped. We have to analyse now what it was,” he said.

Testing at Sepang continues on Wednesday and concludes on Thursday evening.

World Superbikes winner MSMW2012