The retirement of Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo's contract renewal with Yamaha have given a massive boost to MotoGP's silly season, with much talk, rumor and speculation about who will be going where in 2013. Journalists are currently grilling anyone without a contract for next year - and that basically means everyone except Stoner, Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl - about their plans for next season and the state of negotiations. With Lorenzo out of the way, the next two key players are Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, and while Rossi is restricting his comments to his commitment to making the 2012 Ducati work, Dani Pedrosa is being a little freer with his comments about his future.
At Silverstone, MotoMatters.com spoke to Pedrosa for a few minutes about his plans for next season, and the state of negotiations. In the discussion, Pedrosa touched on a few subjects, including his thoughts on retirement, an option he gave serious consideration last year, after a long period of injury. Below is a transcript of the conversation:
Q: Jorge Lorenzo has renewed his contract for 2 years with Yamaha, are you thinking about your future? Are you talking to Honda, or other manufacturers?
Well, since Barcelona, when Honda contacted Jorge, obviously I had some contact but I must wait some more. For me it's not the moment to make a decision.
Q: What are you waiting for?
Nothing, really. Sometimes it goes easier and sometimes it goes a little later.
Q: Is it your priority to stay here at HRC?
I always said I belong in Honda Repsol, so yes, it would be great to finish my career here. But always when I have to make a new contract, I check other possibilities, there is no fixed line for me. It's been the case that I've been a long time in Honda, but it doesn't mean I will always stay here.
Q: Casey Stoner surprised us all by retiring, and you have also had difficult times in the past in MotoGP. How much longer do you see yourself racing?
Actually, every year I feel it is closer, the day I have to stop. I don't know if it's really affected by the injuries, the stress after every crash, or this kind of things. You can never say never, but... I don't know, I don't see myself racing until my mid-30s, 33, 34. I started pretty young also.
Q: How will you know when it's time?
I think you know. I think you know. One day, I think you feel it. You don't know, but you feel it. I think it comes like this.
Q: Have you ever woken up feeling like that? Or woken up feeling like that, and then changed your mind?
Yes, last year when I crashed, I felt, OK, for me this is no more about suffering and suffering and suffering and pain. But yes, next day I woke up and I still feel the will to come back and win.
Q: And that's what it is, the desire to win, that keeps you coming back?