Pedrosa coy on form

Dani Pedrosa

MotoGP great Dani Pedrosa was right at the forefront in Jerez in Spain on Friday with a headline-grabbing performance on the Red Bull KTM.

The 31-time premier class race winner, who last competed in a MotoGP race as a wildcard at the Styrian GP in Austria in 2021, led the times in Practice 1 and ended the day third overall on the combined times.

Pedrosa, though, isn’t getting carried away despite his lofty position on the leaderboard.

The 37-year-old KTM test rider says his objectives for the weekend remain unchanged.

Asked if his expectations had been altered, the former Repsol Honda star said: “No, absolutely not. We have our marks and that’s where we will stick to. That’s it.”

He also shied away from making any predictions ahead of Saturday’s Sprint race at his home race.

“I have no idea, honestly – I have many things to speak to the team about,” Pedrosa said.

“We need to see how the format goes and what the start procedure is – there are things to check with the team. We are going step by step.”

Pedrosa is the most successful rider in MotoGP never to have won the title, but he did finish as the runner-up three times and was also third three times in the championship during a sparkling career.

And despite his vast experience and past success, Pedrosa admitted his position after day one in Jerez was completely unexpected.

“It’s great, a good feeling,” he said. “Especially coming back to this amazing track with all these magnificent competitors. They have pushed the level so high.

“That’s why you have to be very focused every time. This morning we had a good start and this afternoon it was more complicated due to track conditions.

“Maybe the heat, or the wind, was making the lap times slower and it was difficult to improve. Some improved, even in the afternoon with worse track conditions,” he added.

“I’m happy because we’re inside the top 10, that’s good news. I never expected it, it was a surprise.”

Pedrosa will be joined in Qualifying 2 by fellow Red Bull KTM rider Jack Miller, who made big progress in the afternoon session to slot into fifth overall, while Brad Binder just missed out on the top 10 as he ended the day 11th fastest.

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