The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed an excellent Italian Grand Prix at Mugello today with Dani Pedrosa taking a runaway win and his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso joining him on the podium with a competitive ride to third place. The result elevates Pedrosa...
The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed an excellent Italian Grand Prix at Mugello today with Dani Pedrosa taking a runaway win and his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso joining him on the podium with a competitive ride to third place. The result elevates Pedrosa to second in the World Championship behind Jorge Lorenzo, and confirms the competitiveness of the Honda RC212V - with Pedrosa setting the 11 fastest laps of the race today. His best lap, a new race lap record of 1m 49.531, was 0.762 seconds clear of his nearest rival.
Pedrosa made it look easy today on his RC212V, converting pole position into a lead at the first corner, and the 24-year-old Spaniard was never headed for the entire 23-lap race. Riding with metronomic precision, he opened the gap to today's second place man, Jorge Lorenzo, lap-by-lap and his biggest challenge today was maintaining concentration and avoiding mistakes as he navigated Mugello's glorious sweeping curves. The gap stretched to as much as eight seconds before Pedrosa began to ease back slightly and control the pace. He crossed the line four seconds clear of Lorenzo to record the ninth MotoGP win of his career and his 32nd in all classes of Grand Prix racing.
Dovizioso's performance was almost as impressive as his team-mate's as the Italian converted eighth on the grid into third at the chequered flag to make it three podiums from the first four races of 2010. Dovizioso made a fantastic start and gained four places as he guided his RC212V up the inside of Mugello's Turn One and into fourth place. At the end of lap one he climbed to third and locked onto Lorenzo's tail for the entirety of the race. The gap to Lorenzo never opened to more than one second, and Dovizioso pressed the Mallorcan rider right to the end, without quite managing to find a way past. It was an emotional moment for Dovizioso - who lives in Forli, just 95 km from Mugello - as he appeared on the podium in front of his home crowd.
With Marco Melandri in fifth and Randy de Puniet in sixth it was a good day for Honda, with RC212Vs filling four of the first six places. This is the first time that two Repsol Hondas have been on the podium since Germany in 2007, when Pedrosa won the race and Nicky Hayden took third. The next round of the MotoGP season takes place at Silverstone in two weeks' time and the Repsol Honda team will arrive in Britain in search of another strong result as Grand Prix racing returns to the historic circuit.
DANI PEDROSA -- 1st -- World Championship position 2nd 65 points
"It's an unbelievable feeling to win again and I'm so happy for myself and the Repsol Honda Team. We've been working really hard and we had some problems through the winter and in the first races, so I'm really delighted with this victory, especially after leading at Jerez for so long but not quite making it. It looks like we are back near where we need to be and the team deserves the victory. I had a great feeling on the bike today, especially at the beginning section of the race and I could open up a gap. To be honest I didn't see who was behind me, I just looked for the gap on my pit board and tried to ride consistently. It's important that we are competitive now because we have one weekend off and then three races in a row. The next race is at Silverstone which is a legendary track so I hope that we can match this kind of performance there - and also that this part of England has better weather! I'd like to thank the team again for this result. And I also want to thank the fans here for pushing for Valentino because he's having a hard time and everyone in the paddock wishes him well."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 3rd -- World Championship position 4th 58 points
"It's so special to be on the podium at Mugello in front of my home crowd because I've never made the podium in MotoGP here - I always had to watch it on the TV in the garage! It was a really emotional experience up there with all the fans supporting us. I made a good start and this was really important for my race. I wanted to finish the race fighting with Lorenzo because I think it could have been a good battle on the last lap, but I couldn't catch him. We are getting closer to the front but we are not quite there yet and we have to take the next step so that we can fight for victories. Three podium finishes is a good start to the season and is very important for the championship, and it's thanks to the hard work we've done over the winter and in the first races. I'd like to say congratulations to Dani on the win because he had an incredible pace, and this is an extra motivation for us to take that extra step forward so we can fight for the win."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"My congratulations go to Dani on this victory because he was in a different class today and it was impossible for anyone to stay with him. His pace was very impressive and he controlled the race totally. Also Andrea did an excellent job and considering his starting position we couldn't have asked for much more. The Repsol Honda Team has two riders on the podium and we will simply use this as even more motivation to improve and to challenge our rivals. We will enjoy this result, but we are certainly not going to relax at all as we go into the busiest part of the season."