The group of DAZN MotoGP commentators, which this season will see Dani Pedrosa join Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Criville and Carlos Checa, is becoming increasingly prestigious. And it was precisely to the microphones of the Spanish broadcaster that the KTM test rider made his prediction on the 2023 World Championship, reviewing the possible contenders for the title.
For the rider from Sabadell, the outright favourite can only be Ducati, which in the tests in Malaysia showed that it left off from 2022 in which it won the Team, Constructors and Rider titles, with Francesco Bagnaia's first World Championship: " I can't tell you whether or not this year's Ducati is better than last year's, but what is clear is that at the moment they are superior, at least that's what they demonstrated in this first test at Sepang - commented Pedrosa - In those days I was also on the track to look and they seemed very solid in all the corners and parts of the track. They seemed to be very comfortable. They are in great shape, because the bike seems to be very solid."
If the potential of the manufacturers already seems to be clear enough, what could change for Dani between now and the beginning of the season is the performance of the individual riders.
“I think there could be changes in position. The order in which they ended this test or in which they could end the next could be different in the first, second or third race - explained the 37-year-old - Not because of how the bikes perform, but how the riders perform, in the sense that some feel more comfortable on a race weekend than in testing. Others, on the other hand, always do well in testing, but then in the race, with the weekend atmosphere or the pressure, they don't know how to get good laps and the order changes. But in general the important thing is that between first and 20th there were 8 or 9 tenths, so with a small mistake or a bad day, you end up very low down”.
So who could be the rider with what it takes to win the World Championship?
“The easiest thing would be to choose one of the Ducati riders, because at the moment it's the most stable bike on all types of circuits, the one with the best performance and which can go faster - replied the Little Samurai - If I have to name names, from what I saw in Malaysia, one of the riders I found best was Jorge Martin. Pecco Bagnaia is the reigning champion and will try to defend his title. Last year he won by making many mistakes, something that has never been seen before, so it will be enough for him not to make mistakes to do better. And then there's Enea Bastianini who is determined to prove his worth and I think that having the champion next to him won't make him give up, on the contrary, I think it will motivate him”.
“These three seem very strong” added the three-time world champion, who however does not exclude possible twists, due to the new format of the championship: “There are so many races in which you can crash or get injured. Many things can happen and after five races, maybe, you're no longer in the fight for the title - underlined Dani - If you lose a race due to injury, now it's not just one: you lose two. And if the appointments are consecutive, up to four or six can be missed, losing many points”.