Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa felt fine after the first hour of riding the Repsol Honda RC212V around the ups and downs of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.The Spaniard has been slow to recover from serious hip injuries suffered at the Italian GP in Mugello over a month ago and it was thought that the 2.24-mile track would aggravate the injuries. Not so, Pedrosa said, after declaring himself content with his first day’s work.”Pretty much OK,” he said after an hour’s workout in the sun on Friday afternoon. “At the end a little bit sore, because many laps, but not so bad. In general for a Friday, I’m happy.”He said that some corners were tight, but that it was a track where you “really you have to work, because it’s up and down and when you go before the Corkscrew,” on the runway out of turn seven, “when you go up always the wheelie and then the bike is shaking. You really have to be very focused to not make a mistake, because when you make a mistake on this track you are almost out or it’s very important not to make a mistake.”Pedrosa was again using the chassis which he’d tested, but abandoned in Barcelona before using full-time on both bikes in Assen. That race ended with a front end tuck in the first turn, the same turn where teammate Andrea Dovizioso would crash half a dozen laps later.”I only have this chassis on the bike, so if I don’t compare, I don’t think and I don’t feel like a difference,” he said. “Also last year I have no memories, so pretty much OK.”Was today, the practice I started slowly getting some feelings on the track and checking. And after a while trying to go faster and faster. At the end I improved and still some gap from the top, but for the first practice I’m happy.”Pedrosa finished the day fourth fastest and .656 secs. behind Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi. Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo was second and Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner third.The improvement needs to come from the gearbox ratios, which he said were wrong in four or five corners.
Pedrosa Feels Fine at Laguna
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.