It had seemed that Dani Pedrosa had truly lost his way in this 2018 season. No result worthy of his trophy collection, no race as a protagonist and above all, a slow path toward his announced retirement at the end of the season.
But the Pedrosa seen in Aragón finally seemed to be the great rider that for years kept pace with Rossi, Lorenzo, Márquez and Stoner. He did not finish on the podium and had to settle for fifth place behind the Suzuki duo, but this is undoubtedly a result that restores morale for Dani, especially in view of the last five rounds of the world championship. The risk of transforming this period into a slow and inexorable trickle was cancelled out by this race, which lets Pedrosa know that he can still battle for the podium.
It is a podium that he missed today because of a less-than-perfect tyre choice. His teammate, Márquez, took a true gamble, choosing the soft and going on to win. With the same solution, perhaps Pedrosa’s race would have been different too.
"In the race everything was truly good, it’s just that if I had had slightly more grip, I would have been able to stay with the group ahead. Today I could have battled for the win."
So, the fifth place finish is almost a disappointing result.
"I started well and I found a good pace straight away, staying with the riders ahead of me. But I chose the hard tyres, which did not have much grip today, especially because of the Moto2 race that left residue on the asphalt. The bike slid around too much in the back and I had difficulty going into turns."
In short, the wrong tyre choice cut you out of the battle.
"Because of the poor grip, even in braking I had problems. Maybe the soft - he explained - would have been the right choice for me too today. Of course, I would have had to manage tyre wear more. But today, because of the hard rear, I was unable to be fast in turns and then accelerate quickly. That made me lose a bit on every corner and it was impossible for me to stay with the riders battling for the podium."
This is a result that boosts morale, also in view of the Thai round. What do you expect from this track, a new one for the world championship?
"We’ll race in Thailand for the first time, so we don’t know what conditions we’ll find. We did a test there, so I hope that the conditions are similar. I am optimistic."