Pedrosa: "No Wall Needed With Lorenzo As A Team Mate"

The rivalry between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa is both bitter and well-known. The rivalry, which started in 2005 after incidents in the German and Japanese Grand Prix, first came to the attention of the English-speaking world when it took the King of Spain to force the two Spaniards to shake hands, after both men ended up on the podium at Jerez in 2008. Since then, the two men have kept a careful if respectful distance between each other.

That may not be possible next year, though. The Spanish press is full of the prospect that Jorge Lorenzo could make the switch to Honda next year, and though the rumors so far suggest a return of Telefonica to sponsor a one-bike factory-supported team for Lorenzo, the Mallorcan could also join Repsol Honda, as a team mate to his rival Dani Pedrosa.

The Spanish radio channel Onda Cero spoke to Dani Pedrosa about this prospect, and the diminutive Spaniard was remarkably sanguine about the whole affair. Asked about the necessity of placing a wall down the middle of the garage if Lorenzo were to join Pedrosa as a Repsol Honda team mate, Pedrosa said it wouldn't be necessary. "The wall at Yamaha was put there because Rossi wanted it," he told Onda Cero. "I don't think Lorenzo thought it was a problem. But anyway, the policies at Honda are different. I don't know whether they work more as a team at Yamaha, but that's not the impression that Honda want to give."

However, there is no certainty that Pedrosa will even be at Repsol Honda next year. Though the Spaniard was keen to emphasize the excellent relations he has with HRC, he refused to be pushed on the subject of signing a new contract with the Repsol team. "We didn't renew the last contract until October. This year, we've started to talk very early, and it's a subject which is very distracting for riders."

Most important for Pedrosa is competitive machinery. "In the end, you decide to go where you have the best options. If that means that I won't stay at Honda and I have to go to another theam, I'll do what any rider does, I will go where I think I have the best chance of success." But any switch would have to be underwritten with guarantees of competitiveness. "It's difficult enough to win because you are up against great riders, and if you don't face them with equal equipment, that makes it very hard. Otherwise you can face them on the same level, where it comes down to your job as a rider," Pedrosa added.

This is still all speculation, however. Interviewed recently by Gunther Wiesinger and Paolo Scalera, Yamaha's Lin Jarvis emphasized he was keen to keep Lorenzo at Yamaha, but understood the interest in him. "Any other motorcycle manufacturer should be contacting Jorge," Jarvis said. "If they are not, they are not doing their job."  Meanwhile, Yamaha are still talking about extending the deal with Lorenzo: "Discussions are continuing in a positive way," he said, "I'm confident we can offer him the support he needs to achieve his maximum potential. As for the financial side, he is a top sportsman, and he has to look after his career."

Though the Spanish press would dearly love to see Pedrosa and Lorenzo in the same team - the drama which would surely ensue would help sell vast numbers of magazines and newspapers and fill endless hours of tv and radio - the chances of it happening are still fairly slim

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With all these rumours floating around recently it'd almost be disappointing if they both stayed where there are. ;)

To be honest I'm not very surprised about Pedrosa's reaction on the question of sharing a garage with Lorenzo. From the history of their "feud" Pedrosa never seemed to even care much about it, except when he was directly attacked by Lorenzo in the media who was kinda imitating Rossi when he always attacked Biaggi even before Rossi was the big name he is now. Pedrosa was the biggest name in Spain and Lorenzo became the "Anti-Pedrosa", trying to make his name through that. But in the beginning it weren't even the riders voicing a dislike for each other, but rather their managers fighting some kind of proxy war through them. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the tabloids) they passed this on to their riders.

... but didn't Pedrosa insist on a wall with Hayden, and have it written into his contract that he would not share data with Nicky, but would have access to Nicky's data if he so desired? What the hell would Dani know about a "team?"

He can feed the press all the politically correct B.S. he wants now, but if it ever comes to hammer & tongs between the two Spaniards, there'll be a wall in the garage, a firewall on the computers, and a damn force-field if Honda can manage it...

Where did you read that anything like this has been in his contract?
The whole "you can't have my data, but I can have yours" issue has been insanely blown up last year and was to my knowledge only in the press together with the fallout between Puig and Hayden and was based on Hayden's statement only. It would very much surprise me to read any such thing in a contract and to find any manufacturer who'd let this pass. There's always two sides to consider and I'd be hesitant to believe one side blindly just because it's the only one that "spoke out".
(Besides that the riding styles and physical premises are so vastly different that the data wouldn't have been of much use anyway).

And on the Bridgestone/Michelin matter: Pedrosa already requested the switch to Bridgestone before the season, just like Rossi did. But in contrast to Rossi, who always gets what he wants simply because he is Rossi, Honda refused to switch to Bridgestone, due to their long-standing relationship with Michelin. But Michelin definitely underperformed at some 2008 races compared to Bridgestone and therefore the issue became more and more pressing until Honda finally gave in. It wasn't a case of "rider suddenly wants something different and gets it" but more a case of "rider wanted something aeons ago and finally the manufacturer caved".

I very much doubt that Pedrosa had any say at all in the wall in the garages.. You'd need to look at Alberto Puig for that... and of course the Bridgestone / Michelin tire war.

The older and more mature Pedrosa gets and the more he emerges from the shadow of his manager, the more it's apparent that he's not really a bad guy at all. Nicky Hayden fans need to get over their eternal screeching butthurt over what was just an unintentional racing incident.

If you're trying to make a case that Dani is not ultimately responsible for his own manager's actions, then I couldn't possibly disagree with you more. Who works for who exactly?

While I am an American, I'm not Hayden fan (any of them), so your eternal screeching butthurt theory is equally inane relative to this subject.

And if one was to say it was necessary because of the Bridgestone/Michelin deal. Fair enough, but as far as I know, Dani's the only rider in modern era to force a switch of tires in the middle of a season. So he's still responsible for the wall.

People try and put everything on Puig, and while I've never meet the man he certainly seems like a raging ass-wipe from afar. But like the old saying goes, you are who you're with...

You ask a good question, but I am fairly certain that was all Puig's doing, and not so much Pedrosa.

Reading the quotes had me assuming that Alberto must have been in some faraway place for Dani to feel so liberated in expressing how he really feels.  Just how far off-script was he, I wonder?  It sure is refreshing, no matter how plausible it could be.