MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Why Dani Boy made everyone look slow
Pedrosa has had major tyre struggles this year – finally it all came good at Misano
The first time I interviewed Dani Pedrosa, in 2002, I asked the 17-year-old (born in 1985) what kind of music he liked. 1980s pop music, he told me. Wow, I thought, his mentor Alberto Puig even tells him what music to listen to.
Therefore I’m not sure if Pedrosa has ever listened to the song That’s Entertainment sung by new-wave heroes The Jam. (The greatest band the world has ever known, in case you didn’t already know.)
The song is a paean to the simple pleasures of life: “Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume… watching the tele and thinking about your holidays… a hot summer’s day and sticky black tarmac…”
At the moment, Pedrosa has no greater love than for sticky black tarmac. Without it, he is rather lost. Sunday was his first win of the new Michelin era and his third podium of 2016, the other two also achieved on burning hot asphalt at Jerez and Catalunya. There have been only four races this year in which track temperature has exceeded 40 degrees: Jerez, Catalunya, Misano and Mugello, where Pedrosa scored his next best result in fourth, less than two-tenths of a second off the podium.
Pedrosa’s difficulties have been well documented; the Spaniard stands 1.6 metres tall and weighs 51 kilos. In an era of single-tyre racing, when one size must fit all, Pedrosa’s diminutive size is a real handicap. Many of his rivals have no doubt that he would’ve won at least one MotoGP title by now if he was a bit bigger and a bit heavier. He simply isn’t large enough to generate heat into the tyres unless the sun is shining.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.