Dani Pedrosa says there will be no development hierarchy among the three works Honda riders this year, and expects equal status for himself, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso.
Pedrosa has been seen as Honda's priority rider in recent years, when he was paired first with Nicky Hayden, then Andrea Dovizioso. But the arrival of 2007 champion Stoner on a third factory Honda this season will provide a new challenge for the Spaniard, especially as Stoner's former Ducati boss Livio Suppo is already in place at Honda in a senior marketing role.
Asked by the official MotoGP.com if he expected one rider to emerge as the leader in Honda's development efforts, Pedrosa said he anticipated absolute equality.
"This question is a little more for HRC but, OK, in principle during the pre-season things are tested and when the first race comes I suppose that the things that have been tested and chosen will be given to the riders, all of them," he said.
He insisted the addition of Stoner would make no difference to Honda's working methods, saying the team would operate "the same as last year but with one more rider."
Pedrosa is currently recovering from winter surgery on the collarbone he injured in a Motegi practice crash. He admitted that the first 2011 test at Sepang next month would be as much about assessing his fitness as developing the bike.
"I am encouraged, because November and December were tough, there were a lot of problems and I was not well, but as you start to improve and see that the feeling is better, you are automatically encouraged," he said. "I know that I will not be at 100 percent in the first test but if I can control the bike well I will be happy. For me this is like a personal test to see how I am."