A Conversation With ... Dani Pedrosa, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo
MODERATOR: OK, ladies and gentlemen, riders are on their way. In third place, Jorge Lorenzo here at Indianapolis. (Applause) Jorge has a 68-point lead in the championship over Dani Pedrosa, of course, who won the race.
In second place, Ben Spies. (Applause)
And the race winner, his third Grand Prix victory of the season, Dani Pedrosa.
Dani, you look absolutely shattered, I've got to say. I think that was, all three of you look absolutely shattered but that was a pretty tough afternoon's work.
DANI PEDROSA: Yes, it was, it was very, very warm out there. You know, you didn't cool down in the 45 minutes you're out there. So it's hard. But we did a good race. I think the rhythm was very good. The track was slippery, because when the asphalt always get over 50 degrees, the bike always starts to be very greasy, you know. But the same thing for everybody, so I did not a perfect start, but I was good on the first small corners to be still in fourth place. And then I just try to overtake. Spies was quite, was maybe half of one second ahead, and he was pulling very, very strong. But I could pick up, pick up and get over – ahead of him. And finally I try to do my rhythm and I was able to escape and do a good pace.
So I am very happy, pleased with my bike. It was a fast bike in the straight and it was going well, also, in the corners. So good feelings.
And then, yeah, by the end it was hard to stay focused because it was very tiring and my – I had tube for the water but I don’t know why it was not working. And yeah, I’m tired but very happy because last year I crashed here and I could win the race, but this time I did. So very happy.
MODERATOR: With the track and with the temperature, when you were leading and the gap was OK, you had to concentrate very hard because one little mistake here, we’ve seen so many crashes.
PEDROSA: Yes, so many crashes because of the bumps and the track temperature. Yeah, if you just miss one line in one corner, you can be immediately on the ground. So it was very important to be focused in every corner and make no mistake with the bumps, especially at the end when the tires were more damaged, when you go over the bumps, the bike is shaking a little bit more and it was more difficult to control. But even that, I was able to stay in the front, not crash this time and finish the race on top.
MODERATOR: Misano obviously in a week's time, and you've had your third MotoGP win of the season. It's always been two MotoGP wins. That's a big step forward for you, isn't it?
PEDROSA: Yes, I cross the barrier of two wins, so I'm very happy, and I hope we can keep this rhythm. We are doing good lately in the races, so mistakes, but I hope till the end I can still keep this rhythm and do some more good results.
MODERATOR: Misano, is it a track you like?
PEDROSA: Misano is a track I like. I've been always quite fast, but we have to work harder on the setup because the Honda there is always a little bit hard to ride. Our engine is a little bit -- it's fast, but in the corners it's always very aggressive. So to control on this is difficult, but we will have to work very hard since Friday, and we'll try our best. And I hope we can do there a great result, also.
MODERATOR: Finally, it will be important to rest. It's a long trip home. You're back on the bike Friday afternoon in Misano after a really tough race. It's very important, isn't it, to rest the body if you can?
PEDROSA: Yes, you must rest as much as you can. Also Misano can be a hot race. So, yeah, as much as we can rest and to recover for the next one is better.
MODERATOR: Dani, congratulations, your third win of the season.
In second place, of course, riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Ben Spies. Very, very close, Ben, but a great second place for you.
BEN SPIES: Yeah. I mean, we can't complain, you know. We came in and did better than I thought we were going to do. We got the pole yesterday and got out and had a good start today and led some laps. Didn't set the world on fire, but we, you know, we had a good pace. If just wasn't fast enough when Dani came by. His bike was working good, and he had good grip. We had a good setup, too; it just wasn't fast enough. And I tried as hard as I could and didn't make too many mistakes. Saw that we had a gap to third and, you know, just tried to manage it and ride as hard as I could. It was really tricky, and I saw a lot of crash marks out there and I knew some people were hitting the ground, and it was quite easy to make a mistake. But in the end we had to ride 100 percent the whole time with only a three-second gap. So I'm happy for all the friends and family and fans that are here to get a second in the American Grand Prix for the first season, you know, it's a hard weekend, you know. It hasn't soaked in yet, but I'll try to go and enjoy it a little bit and hop on a plane and do it again next weekend.
MODERATOR: I believe you said Thursday afternoon when we spoke, you finished second in the Grand Prix, your Grand Prix future is confirmed replacing Valentino Rossi, pole position, I think you'd have said, yeah, I'll settle for that.
SPIES: Yeah. I mean, it's a lot of confidence, too, to know that next year what's happening, to have Yamaha behind me. It's knowing that they believe in me that they want me on the factory bike, you have a lot more confidence in it. It just takes pressure off you, you believe in yourself. You push and push and having the American fans here, they wanted something big. We tried as hard as we could, which we didn't win today but to get on the podium, I'm happy with that. I think everybody that's with me is.
MODERATOR: You've moved up into sixth place in the championship, one point in front of Nicky Hayden, so that in itself is turning into a bit of a battle, isn't it?
SPIES: Yeah. It depends how you look at it. For me, you know, Nick is just another rider. He's a great rider; he's a world champ. To be doing what we're doing, not looking at the top American, anything like that, or top satellite bike, just to be the first year and jumping over some of the hurdles we've had, I didn't think it would be going this well. So two podiums, you know. If you had told me we would have had one at the end of the first season, I would have been happy with that and took my money. But we'll just keep clicking away, keep trying to learn. I think me and the team and everybody is doing a good job, and I'm happy with it.
MODERATOR: Ben, congratulations, second place.
We come on to the championship leader, ladies and gentlemen, of course Jorge Lorenzo riding the Fiat Yamaha. Out of the first two, the first time, Jorge, but you picked up some very, very important points, didn't you, and you're still on the podium. Still a 68-point gap. You can't be too disappointed.
JORGE LORENZO: Yeah, I must not be disappointed, no, but I'm not happy with my race. I didn't ride so well. The start didn't help me to make better. That's why I didn't feel so good with my physical condition, no? The third lap I was tired and I was not able to make the same pace as in practice. Anyway, this our worst result, and I think for Misano we will come back again, and we will see.
MODERATOR: As Dani said and Ben said, it really was very, very difficult out there. The track, you had to concentrate so hard, no mistakes, and the heat as well.
LORENZO: Yeah, the track was so slidey and also the bumps were difficult to use it. So I almost crash in some corners, so I prefer to finish third and not to take so many risks.
MODERATOR: Finally, Misano, is it a track you like?
LORENZO: Yeah, I love it. I love it. I finished second in the last two years and I think it's a good track for us.
MODERATOR: Jorge, thank you very much. Con