Pedrosa has been a test rider alongside Mika Kallio at KTM since 2019 and in that time has helped the Austrian manufacturer make considerable steps towards becoming a constant threat in MotoGP.
However, KTM once again struggled in one particular area this season which was qualifying, leaving them on the backfoot compared to Ducati who often dominated the first two rows with four or five bikes.
This made Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira’s jobs much harder than they could and perhaps should have been as race pace, especially in Binder’s case, was extremely impressive for much of the season.
Getting the most out of a new soft rear tyre will be key for KTM in 2023, and when speaking to Speedweek.com, Pedrosa highlighted that as Ducati’s clear advantage.
“There are two points that stand out,” said the Spaniard. “If we look back on the last two years, qualifying has often been a weak point for us.
“Because you could see that it was easier for the Ducati riders to go a second faster with the new, soft tyres. As a result, they placed all eight Ducati very far ahead on the grid. It’s more difficult for the remaining teams to be up front on the grid.
“The KTM was easy to control and manage with used tyres. But with new tyres we couldn’t make any big time improvements. This weak point prevented us from reaching the front starting positions.
“You know: there are problems with the front tyres when you follow an opponent in the slipstream. Then the tyre pressure rises to crazy heights – and you lose grip.
“You can then no longer overtake and no longer make up places.”
During his interview Pedrosa delved deeper into the subject of tyres and how a certain compound can favour a particular bike at any given circuit.
“The tyres are definitely a key point. You’ll often see that the compound best suits a particular type of bike at a particular track,” continued Pedrosa. “Then, on the next stretch, a different mix comes into the allocation; this gives more preference to another work.
“On the one hand, Ducati benefits because they have the most motorcycles in the field. And apparently they make better use of the tyres than the competition.
“The other manufacturers can only be competitive if the compound suits the bike.
“But if the compound doesn’t harmonize so perfectly with the bike, there are problems. This also applies to KTM.
“Perhaps Ducati found a better balance between the hard and soft compounds. This makes them cope better. “But that’s just my thought. I don’t know if it’s correct.”