Dani Pedrosa says he sees no reason to change Honda's management structure next year, despite rumors suggesting that former Ducati team boss Livio Suppo is set to take on a similar role with his new employer.
Suppo quit Ducati to become Honda's marketing manager last winter, and the team has now signed Ducati's lead rider Casey Stoner – with whom Suppo had a close relationship, prompting speculation of a Honda reshuffle that would see Suppo become more prominent. But Pedrosa, who has won the last two races and yesterday announced he would stay at Honda through 2012, believes his team would be ill-advised to make changes.
"I think the style right now is working," he said. "I don't see why we would have to change things when they are working, because it's so hard to get things working well.
"You have to work hard to get the mix correct, and when it is correct, suddenly everybody wants to change it. When the team is working, you don't have to change it if you want to improve."
He believes Honda is working more effectively this season than at any time since he joined its MotoGP team in 2006.
"I think this year we did a big improvement," said Pedrosa. "We have a much better communication with Japan. From the beginning of the year we've had so many problems and we tested so many things, but this time we did it in the correct way and we were quickly getting better and better. And by now you can see our bike has improved a lot from the first races. So I think that's a good point and I can hope we can keep it for the next years."
The Spaniard expects Stoner to provide stiff intra-team competition – but said he had faced a similar challenge when he joined the team alongside Nicky Hayden in '06.
"He's a very strong rider, but when I came here also Nicky was very strong and he was world champion that year," said Pedrosa. "So that team that year was pretty strong. We were first and second for almost the whole championship. But, of course, [Stoner] is a very strong rider. He's always been fast in his class, always at the top. So he will be at the top again."
Pedrosa thinks he and Stoner can work together harmoniously, but hopes they have similar setup needs.
"If both riders are looking for the same direction, it's not a worry," he said. "If not, then it's more difficult."