Catalunyan GP: Repsol Honda race report

Pedrosa Storms To Win, Hayden Eighth Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa stormed to a stunning runaway victory at Catalunya today, cheered all the way by more than 113,000 adoring fans. The Spaniard's start-to-finish win was his second of the year...

Pedrosa Storms To Win, Hayden Eighth

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa stormed to a stunning runaway victory at Catalunya today, cheered all the way by more than 113,000 adoring fans. The Spaniard's start-to-finish win was his second of the year and completed a hat-trick of home-tarmac successes at Valencia last November, Jerez in March and now Catalunya. Team-mate Nicky Hayden had another tough one, coming in eighth after running sixth.

Pedrosa rode a perfect race, showing matchless speed and relentless pace that put him 0.658 seconds ahead after the first lap, 3.9 seconds in front at one-quarter distance and 7.2 seconds ahead midway through the race. He had stretched his advantage to more than eight seconds before he eased off, crossing the line 2.8 seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa's 29th GP win (all achieved on Honda machinery) closes the points gap on series leader Rossi to just seven points as the 18-race 2008 MotoGP series approaches half-distance. Hayden had an altogether more difficult afternoon. The American looked strong in the early stages but set-up issues prevented him from holding a consistent fast pace.

Today's record crowd showed their enthusiasm for MotoGP by making it into the track despite traffic jams caused by a transport strike.

Dani Pedrosa, race winner, 2nd in World Championship

"I'm very happy about this win, my thanks to all the people around me. Today was also very important for the championship, I am now five points closer to the lead, but there are still many races ahead of us, so we need to keep pushing and be consistent. We had a few issues in practice here, so my team was thinking what they could do and they made a small adjustment before the race that improved the bike and helped me to run that pace. Once again, a big thanks to them. I couldn't believe the fans, it seems like every year there are more and more. I'm very happy they were here because I know it was difficult to get into the track today. I was all alone, pushing to go faster and faster and I could see everyone cheering me on. At one point I lost a bit of concentration, but I got my focus back and kept pushing. Now we have two days of tests which will be very important for the next few races."

Nicky Hayden, 8th place, 9th in World Championship

"We knew the race was going to be tough. Our bike has worked quite well when we had grip but something with the set-up right now we're not getting the tyre life we need. It was okay in the beginning but I couldn't maintain the pace. Something in the set-up is hurting the tyre life, it's quite frustrating. We were in there early and thought we might be on for a good result and then we lost touch and went backward. The rear brake went out towards the end which didn't help things. Eighth place is not what we want. We've got a really important two days of testing which we need. I'm certainly looking forward to it, hopefully we can get a couple of things sorted out." "That was a fantastic job from Dani. It's been a very exciting day for us, everybody in the team, from riders to mechanics, has done a good job. Thanks also to everyone who supports us, like Michelin whose tyres were so consistent today. This is a very tough season, so we will keep fighting and working hard. Nicky had a difficult race, we are now going to sit down and see what happened. Next we have two days of tests during which we will try the pneumatic-valve-spring engine as well as working on other aspects of the machine. When we try the engine we will be looking for overall machine performance, not just straight-line performance."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"That was a fantastic job from Dani. It's been a very exciting day for us, everybody in the team, from riders to mechanics, has done a good job. Thanks also to everyone who supports us, like Michelin whose tyres were so consistent today. This is a very tough season, so we will keep fighting and working hard. Nicky had a difficult race, we are now going to sit down and see what happened. Next we have two days of tests during which we will try the pneumatic-valve-spring engine as well as working on other aspects of the machine. When we try the engine we will be looking for overall machine performance, not just straight-line performance."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Dani Pedrosa