Dani Pedrosa: MotoGP Point Of View

One lap of Circuit of The Americas on a factory Repsol Honda.

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez

Dani Pedrosa's Honda is started, he rocks it off the stand, engages first and accelerates to the droning pit-speed limit. Once he lowers his faceshield, the engine winds up effortlessly like a blender on "liquefy." It should: This 1000cc V-Four makes 240 horsepower, and the bike weighs only 350 pounds.

After Pedrosa makes the 270-degree left at the hilltop Turn 1, you hear the engine revs rise and fall as the bike corners right-left-right-left through eight bends to reach the almost 3500-foot-long straight. We can see Pedrosa's left hand move slightly for each downshift, but clutchless upshifts by the "seamless-shift" six-speed gearbox are almost imperceptible. We hear the engine give some power in the downshifts; new software this year addresses the RC213V's dislike of closed-throttle running.

Pedrosa accelerates through all six gears to more than 200 mph in 14-15 seconds, then super-hard deceleration from the carbon brakes down to first again for the left hairpin at the end, a zig and zag, followed by the long right-hander around the tower, two lefts and onto the straight again and into the pit. Everything we see—track, rider, bike—is so perfect that this could be a video-game sequence, but all of it is real.

We hear the engine idle as he rolls to a stop and the bike is “caught” by a crewman. A racing engine idles? Yes, it does. Any engine harshness disturbs traction when the bike is on the edges of its tires. Power with smoothness is the key to quick laps.