Dani Pedrosa is not exactly the MotoGP rider with the most acclaim. After 11 years in the premier class – 2017 will be his 12th season- on the most powerful team in the championship, not many people believe that Dani is worth more than winning a couple of GPs a year…but attention to Pedrosa in 2017.
The first to make this warning was Márquez himself. When last week Marc was asked about who he believes will be his main rivals next season, surprisingly (for the majority of us) he included his teammate Pedrosa on the list. “Dani is doing a quiet but good preseason,” Marquez said. “I’m there in the box and I see how he’s working … watch out for Dani.”
For 2017, Pedrosa has turned things around in search for a return as a serious title contender.
The truth is that after so many years, betting on Pedrosa may almost seem an act of faith, but those of us who are aware of the changes that have occurred with and around Dani, we’ve realized that the little Spanish rider has decided to go all in for 2017. I’ll explain.
One of Pedrosa’s main problems in recent years has been being scattered. Since leaving Alberto Puig’s box, Dani has had to assume an increasing number of roles, which moved him away from the concentration that a rider needs to focus on his job, for what they pay him to do: ride.
Pedrosa’s problems inside the box are well known: changing mechanics, disagreements and total lack of confidence in the person in charge of his motorcycles. Dani also became his own manager, handling contracts with his suit and helmet suppliers, and various other things.
In an interview with him last year, we showed him that paradoxically, after practically inventing the figure of the track coach, he had become the only MotoGP top rider who did not have a track observer. “Yes, that’s true,” Dani had answered in surprise.
The case is that for 2017, Pedrosa has turned things around. In addition to necessary changes to personnel in the box—the tension last year had reached unsustainable levels—he has signed a contract with Wasserman, a major agency representing elite athletes who will be in charge of managing his contracts. He has also contracted the former assistant of Sete Gibernau, and has asked Gibernau himself to accompany him throughout the season to the races as a trackside advisor.
“Dani is doing a quiet but good preseason. I’m there in the box and I see how he’s working … watch out for Dani”, Marc Márquez
Behind all these changes is the search for a return as a serious title contender, that is, to allow Pedrosa to focus only on riding his bike. It has to be said that in the pre-season tests, Dani has seemed much more relaxed, with a body language completely different from previous seasons.
Not that this automatically means an increase in his competitiveness, but Pedrosa has cleared some stones from the road that prevented him from advancing; Now that road is clear. And as Marquez himself says, look out for Dani this year.