MICHELIN MAN PEDROSA BATTLES FOR SHANGHAI VICTORY & GRABS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Michelin man Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) scored an important second-place finish at Shanghai today to take the World Championship lead after...
MICHELIN MAN PEDROSA BATTLES FOR SHANGHAI VICTORY & GRABS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Michelin man Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) scored an important second-place finish at Shanghai today to take the World Championship lead after starting this race level on points with fellow Michelin man Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin). Lorenzo rode a hero's race to fourth, safeguarding second place in the points chase, despite injuring both his ankles when he crashed in Friday practice. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) took a hard-fought sixth-place finish just ahead of pole-position man Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) to make it four Michelin men in the top seven.
The race was run on a dry track under threatening skies following a soaking wet morning warm-up session. Pedrosa set the early pace, then settled into a tense duel with Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1). The pair upped the pace throughout, Pedrosa right with his rival until the last few laps. Lorenzo, Hayden 20and Edwards had frantic races in a busy pack, Edwards running third in the early stages before ‘out-braking himself' and running wide. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) rode with the two Americans but slipped back to 11th at the finish.
"Obviously we were most concerned about the weather, because it looked like it might rain again during the race," Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "Luckily it stayed dry, apart from a few drops of rain, but the conditions were much cooler than yesterday. The track temperature was 25 degrees, while yesterday it was 48 degrees. Dani chose to race the same tyres he chose yesterday, so this was a good test for our tyres. He was very fast from the start, which proved the warm-up performance of our tyres, and was then able to fight for the lead throughout, which proved that our tyres now have an excellent operating range, considering that the track was 23 degrees cooler today.
"Dani rode a great race, he was able to fight hard throughout. Jorge was also amazing, riding so hard despite his injury and despite the fact that he didn't ride many laps in practice. He also chose tyres he used yesterday. Nicky did a good job, Colin too. Andrea decided to use a softer tyre than yesterday, so his lap times dropped off in the final laps more than those of the other riders."
Pedrosa, who now leads Lorenzo by seven points after four rounds, was happy with his fourth podium from four races. "I'm very happy with this result because it was a great race," he said. "My Michelin tyres were working really well and we were lapping at lap-record pace throughout. Nobody expected the race to be so fast. As the race went on I changed my style a little bit to get the best out of the tyres. In the end I decided to make sure of second place because the strong tail wind was making my engine over-rev. This is an important result for us."