Pedrosa: Lorenzo the Man to Beat, Rossi the “Great Unknown”

Dani_PedrosaThe off-season for the MotoGP was extremely busy this year, as numerous top riders switched teams and motorcycles. It’s a new grid for 2011, and the competition could come from any garage. Dani Pedrosa, who will be riding with Repsol Honda this year, feels that he has a good beat on things. Jorge Lorenzo is the man to beat, according to Pedrosa, but everyone has to be aware of Valentino Rossi, the “great unknown.”

Most people would agree with Pedrosa’s assessment. Lorenzo is the returning champion. He’s coming back with the same team and motorcycle. And with Valentino Rossi out of the Yamaha garage, Lorenzo will be the main focal point for the Yamaha team. The Fiat Yamaha team also has a strong rider with Ben Spies, who impressed everyone in his rookie season.

“At the moment everything points towards a tough World Championship,” Pedrosa said. “The Yamaha continues to have a good rhythm lap upon lap. Lorenzo, as the defending Champion, is a rival to beat, and Spies had a great season in 2010 and will certainly be better this year.”

Pedrosa also knows that Valentino Rossi cannot be discounted, even after his 11th place finish in Malaysia.

Rossi has won 9 world Championships, and always seems to find a way to fight for the podium. Rossi will have an uphill battle this year, however, as he moves to a new bike with Ducati, and continues to recover from shoulder surgery.

“The great unknown quantity will perhaps be Rossi,” Pedrosa said. “It’s his first year with Ducati and in Malaysia he wasn’t amongst the fastest riders. But Rossi is Rossi, and you can never rely on anything. Even when he’s in last place on the Saturday he still has the capacity to surprise.”

The 2011 MotoGP season is sure to be full of surprises, upsets, and fantastic finishes, and Pedrosa believes that the Repsol Honda will be up at the front, fighting for the title.

“Ours is a strong team, with Stoner and Dovizioso,” Pedrosa said. “Right now the Honda RC212V seems to be functioning well. We’ll see what happens when we get to the first GP of the year, because everything could change there.”

Courtesy of

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