Pedrosa Takes Second Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took second place in a gripping Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez today, crossing the line just half a second behind the winner and setting the fastest lap of the race along the way. Pedrosa's ...
Pedrosa Takes Second
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took second place in a gripping Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez today, crossing the line just half a second behind the winner and setting the fastest lap of the race along the way. Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso also delivered a strong performance today and recorded his best MotoGP result at Jerez with sixth place at the chequered flag.
From pole position, an inspired Pedrosa led the race right until the final few corners of the last lap, when fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo slipped by to deny Pedrosa the victory that looked deservedly his. It provoked mixed emotions for the 24-year-old in front of his home crowd, with the Barcelona rider pleased to have maintained front-running pace for so long and to have kick-started his season with a strong result, but also disappointed to have come so very close only to be denied on the final lap.
The second round of the MotoGP World Championship was a nail-biting affair with Pedrosa's lead never growing to more than two seconds as Valentino Rossi slotted in behind the fast-starting Spaniard. Pedrosa would edge the gap open only for Rossi to pull back a few tenths, while all the time Lorenzo was creeping his way towards the leading pair. As Lorenzo mounted his challenge on the penultimate lap, Pedrosa held him off as best he could and the pair touched fairings as they battled for the lead. Pedrosa's second place - which was his 80th Grand Prix podium in all classes - means he has stood on the podium at Jerez for the last six years.
Dovizioso made a good start from ninth on the grid and lay in eighth place through the first few corners. The Italian then reeled off a committed first few laps to quickly dispatch Marco Melandri and Ben Spies and set off in pursuit of the raging battle for fifth place. Riding at a strong pace on his RC212V, Dovizioso eased away from the riders behind, but wasn't able to close in any further and chose to bring his RC212V home in sixth to collect ten valuable World Championship points.
After today's drama, the Repsol Honda Team will draw breath and then return to Jerez tomorrow for a day of official MotoGP testing - one of only two such days in the 2010 season.
DANI PEDROSA -- 2nd -- World Championship position 3rd 29 points
"Well this result is a little bit surprising for me and, even though I came so close to winning, I'm pleased to be on the podium and so close to the top step. I didn't think I was going to be able to lead the race for this long and I was nervous at the start because I knew that to maintain a front-running rhythm was going to be very difficult for us. So I was pleased to be out in front of the race, but then I saw on the pit board that Lorenzo was closing at a pace that was half a second faster than me and Rossi and I thought, "Mmm, maybe this is going to be difficult!" I tried to hold him off for as long as possible but in the end I couldn't. Second place after leading for all but half a lap is disappointing obviously, but after the first race at Qatar this is a good result for us. I'd like to thank all the fans who came here and supported us today, and all the people around me in the Repsol Honda Team. We must keep working really hard - starting with the test tomorrow - so that we can improve for Le Mans."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 6th -- World Championship position 4th 26 points
"I made a quick start and my first few laps were good and I was able to get past a few riders and climb to sixth place. In the central part of the race we had a good rhythm and my pace compared to the front riders wasn't too bad. I maintained this until the final five laps when it was clear that I couldn't catch the riders ahead and so I eased off. The grip levels here were quite low and it was important to get the electronic controls working well, but in this area we didn't get things right today. So, even though I'm pleased my rhythm has improved from last year here, I am disappointed with the race result. We will keep on working and I'm very happy that tomorrow we have the opportunity to test the new material - the new chassis and the new engine - so we have the chance to continue the progress we've been making through winter testing and at the first race. Dani was very fast today and I'd like to give my compliments to him because he did a very good race and has shown what the machine can be capable of. I'm confident that we can be competitive at the next race at Le Mans."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"That was a very tense race for me! Dani put in a really good performance and was able to stay in front for so long and maintain his lap times throughout the race, which represents significant progress for us. Of course it's a disappointment that he couldn't hang on for the win - and I really think he deserved it today - but we can take the positives from this. Andrea worked hard through the weekend and, although he couldn't catch the front five today, he has made progress which we can build on in the test tomorrow. Today we have glimpsed race winning potential and the Repsol Honda Team is going work tirelessly until we realise that potential. Both riders and the whole team has worked hard this weekend and I'm please with this."
-source: repsol honda