In his debut season, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa today claimed his second career victory in the GAS British Grand Prix, the ninth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) held on the Donington Park circuit. The reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, took home second place after a fantastic race, followed by his countryman Marco Melandri.
After taking the lead on lap 11 of the 30-lap race, none of his rivals could cope with the devastating pace of Pedrosa to notched his second victory in the category.
"I'm happy because this was almost the perfect weekend the team did a great job in every session. My start was good and then I pushed really hard and tried to get past Marco but it was not so easy. When I tried to overtake I braked but I couldn't stop the machine so I was getting closer and closer to him and he was about to turn in. I was saying, "please leave room!" and luckily he did", Pedrosa explained.
On lap five the reigning 250cc world champion dived down the inside of the Italian at the Melbourne hairpin, only to run wide. Luckily for his winning hopes, he was able to recover.
Once in the lead, Pedrosa managed to open a certain gap over his pursuers which finally gave Repsol Honda it second consecutive success after Nicky Hayden`s victory in Assen last week.
About his chances in the title chase that has him in second place 26 from his teammate Hayden, the Spaniard commented: "I'm not looking at the championship position because that's not my target this year. My focus is still on getting the best performance from myself and taking profit from my opportunities".
As it happened in China -- his first career victory in the premier class --, Pedrosa took the victory starting the competition from the pole position. Roared on by a partisan local crowd, who have taken the Italian to their hearts after a string of victories at this circuit, Rossi started steadily from twelfth on the grid but soon got into his rhythm and began passing riders with the flamboyance and determination that has already taken him to five consecutive MotoGP World Championship titles.
"That was an amazing race and a very important result for me. I am in a better position as far as the points are concerned and that is more important than winning the race. To be honest after Assen I wasn't sure if it would be possible to fight for a top result here but I wanted it so much because Donington is a very special place to me and the fans give me such incredible support every year", the World Champion mentioned.
"I had some hard battles along the way but when I got up to Melandri it got even harder! We had real fun and neither of us wanted to back down. He was faster than me in some places and I was faster than him in others. In the end it came down to the last hairpin and we both braked around 20 or 30 metres deeper than normal. We both ran wide but luckily Marco went even wider than me and I was able to get in from of him. I finished second but today it felt like a win", Rossi said.
It was Rossi`s fourth podium this season and the first time he finished in second place in 2006. The previews three visits to the podium were victories for the Italian (Qatar, Italy and Catalunya).
Melandri was able to complete a steady race with the Fortuna Honda bike and third placement his return to a podium after three races with hard results and the accident in Catalunya.
"Today was an incredible day! Bearing in mind my physical condition two weeks ago, I have to be very satisfied", said the Italian rider. "I want to thank the Clinica Mobile for the work they did to allow me to race here in good shape", Melandri added.
The former 250cc World Champion commented on his superb battle with Rossi for the second place: "It's a shame I lost second because of a small error on the penultimate corner, but the battle with Valentino was great and I think the fans really enjoyed the spectacle".
Australian Casey Stoner put his bike from Honda LCR in fourth place taking another great performance in his rookie MotoGP season, followed by Kenny Roberts Jr., again in the good points.
Sixth place belong to Colin Edwards with standings leader Nicky Hayden in seventh in the other bike of Repsol Honda. John Hopkins, Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa completed the top ten places in England.
In two weeks will continue the Continental Circus action in German circuit of Sachsenring circuit with the betandwin.com Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.