Pedrosa: “As always, we will show teamwork”
In the aftermath of the crash which perhaps leaves Nicky
Hayden out of the running for a maiden world title, Dani
Pedrosa has thus far made little comment, choosing instead to
stay out of the spotlight and gather his composure for the final
race of the 2006 season. The Spaniard could still help his teammate,
as placing himself between Hayden and Valentino Rossi
would gift the championship to his fellow Repsol Honda rider.
Pedrosa gave an interview this weekend to express his thoughts
ahead of his home race in Valencia.
What were your feelings when you woke up on Monday
I thought that it had been a heavy blow, especially for my team
mate Nicky, but also for me, for Honda, for Repsol, for the
mechanics and for all the fans that have been following us
throughout the season. I'm very sad about what happened in
Estoril. I know that there's nothing I can change now, but there
are still many chances for my team mate Nicky Hayden to
become World Champion. Repsol Honda is one team and we are
going to show it in Valencia, as we always do. I'll do everything
I can to help him. We have a big challenge ahead but we can
Nicky's behaviour and reaction on Sunday afternoon was
really praiseworthy, he behaved like a gentleman. Have
you thought about how you would have reacted being
faced with a situation like this, i.e. if he would have hit
you with you leading the overall standings?
I've thought a lot about it. He didn't want to start any kind of
controversy through the media and despite everything that had
happened and how angry he was, he managed to calm down
and behave like a great professional. Nicky has taught a lesson
of professionalism behaving in an excellent way. He accepted
my apologies when I went to see him in his motorhome and he
didn't foster the media, nor did he want to make a big deal out
of this. I know what he told the media and despite them trying
to get good headlines, Nicky didn't say a single negative word
about me. And to tell you the truth, I would have understood. It
was his right.
What can you tell us about what happened in corner
number 6 of the Estoril Circuit on lap five of the race?
I made a good start; I passed Nicky and put myself behind
Rossi who was pushing hard. I knew that Rossi wouldn't be able
to escape and also that Edwards was there and that he would
try to stop us to help Rossi. Suddenly Edwards passed me,
almost taking me off my line and I had a big fright. Shortly
after it happened again with Nicky, so I decided not to take part
in the battle so soon and stayed fourth, waiting. There was a lot
of race left and it wasn't the time to start absurd fights.
Valentino was not escaping and being fourth was alright. My
plan was to control Valentino and let the laps go by to attack
towards the end.
So, I understand that your final attack was aimed at
taking the victory?
Yes, that's right. Alberto Puig and I had talked about the
different possibilities and our aim was scoring 50 points in the
two remaining races. Honda had given us freedom to decide
and we had mathematical chances. Nicky could fail in one of the
races and the Yamaha had already shown along the season,
that the engine is fragile. So our plan was to score those 50
points, considering that there were two circuits ahead in which
we could be very competitive, and just watch what Rossi and
my team mate Nicky would be doing. I'm a race rider and I
obviously want to win, but all those who follow me and know
me, know that I have never done it by trickery. I had never
knocked down anyone in the six years I've been in the World
Championship. Not even in my worst dreams would I have
thought that something like what happened on Sunday could
ever happen to me. I wanted to win, but in no way hindering
my team mate from continuing with his fight for the title. He
has been working very hard this season, he has been very
regular and he had big chances to win the title. I also race to
win and as long as Honda wouldn't say anything different, I had
You were saying that staying fourth waiting for what
would happen was alright…
Yes, that was my plan, to control the situation, to observe and
to play my cards towards the end. But suddenly, in corner 6, a
left-hander after the second longest straight of the circuit, I
arrived too fast at the braking point and my rear tyre was up
while I was operating the brakes. It was only a question of a
few seconds; I noticed what was going to happen, I went
through the inside looking for space enough to brake and when
the front tyre lost grip I just prayed to God to be the only one
to crash… It was an instant, some tenths of a second, but I
remember perfectly well how my team mate was on the asphalt
and his despair.
I just can say that I'm terribly sorry about what happened.
Nicky didn't deserve something like this. I have already
apologised to whom I had to, and I publicly commit myself to
doing all I can to help my team mate to achieve the title. I will
be Nicky Hayden's best help in Valencia.