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Dani Pedrosa’s current MotoGP struggles stem from a lack of motivation that is making it “impossible” for him to be fast on his Honda, according to team-mate Marc Marquez.
Pedrosa, who will be replaced by Jorge Lorenzo at the factory Honda squad for 2019, endured a miserable Assen race last weekend, qualifying down in 18th and salvaging a single point for 15th.
It was the latest in a poor sequence of results for Pedrosa, who has slipped to 12th in the standings and has scored just 12 points in the last three races.
“Dani is going through a difficult situation,” said Marquez of his team-mate’s woes. “Assen is one of the tracks where he struggles most due to his physical condition.
“But with our bike, if you are not motivated, it’s impossible to be fast. Our bike shakes a lot, you have to ride it with bravery.”
Pedrosa is expected to stay in MotoGP next year as part of a new satellite Yamaha team owned by Sepang and backed by Petronas, although official confirmation of the deal has not yet materialised.
Pedrosa admitted at Barcelona that uncertainty about his future had affected his performance, and he reiterated that after his qualifying performance at Assen.
In the race, the 32-year-old finished fourth in a pack of five riders comprising Pol Espargaro’s KTM, the two Aprilias of Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding and the Avintia Ducati of Tito Rabat.
“It was a very difficult weekend,” said Pedrosa. “It didn’t start well in the race and we didn’t make any progress in the beginning, I lost some positions so [it was] difficult to take the rhythm.
“More or less [I had] the same feeling as in practice and then little-by-little in the race I started to get faster and faster, [felt] more comfortable and improved my lap times.
“My problem was I caught the group and then I was losing a lot in the last chicane, so it was difficult for me to make a clear overtake and then I [was] stuck behind the group and I started lapping slowly again.
“Then I ran out in Turn 1 to avoid crashing and I lost two to three seconds to the group in one lap, for two laps I pushed and went again to a good pace.
“The positive is that I was lapping strong, [except for] in the beginning or [using] new tyres. So I have to work to be faster with the new tyre so I can qualify stronger.”