Spanish GP: Repsol Honda race report

Pedrosa Scores Victory! Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa scored a dominant victory in front of 131,000 sun-drenched fans at Jerez today, his team-mate Nicky Hayden running in the leading pack for much of the race to finish a strong ...

Pedrosa Scores Victory!

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa scored a dominant victory in front of 131,000 sun-drenched fans at Jerez today, his team-mate Nicky Hayden running in the leading pack for much of the race to finish a strong fourth.

Pedrosa took over the lead from holeshot man Hayden at turn two and stayed out front for the rest of the 27 laps, setting a red-hot pace that put him and his Repsol Honda RC212V almost four seconds ahead at half distance. The Spaniard crossed the finish line 2.8 seconds in front of Valentino Rossi, having smashed both lap and race records. Pedrosa's fifth premier-class success continues an amazing run of Jerez results, following runner-up finishes with Repsol Honda in the 2006 and 2007 MotoGP races and victory in the 2005 250 event aboard his Honda RS250. The 22-year-old received his winner's trophy from King Juan Carlos, a keen motorcycle fan. Pedrosa's latest Jerez success was a poignant moment for his mentor Alberto Puig who became the first Spaniard to win a premier-class GP when he won the 1995 Jerez event riding a Honda NSR500.

Hayden's hard-fought result proved that the 2006 World Champion is really building momentum after a tough weekend at the season-opening Qatar GP. Just a tenth off the front row in qualifying, Hayden got a storming start that gave him the chance to run with the leaders. He did just that and was very much in the hunt for a podium finish, chasing Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, until he had a close call at turn one with five laps to go.

Dani Pedrosa
race winner, World Championship leader
Front tyre: 16" Michelin slick medium Rear tyre: 16.5" Michelin slick hard

"This is my first MotoGP win at Jerez and I'm very happy about today's performance because it comes after a difficult winter during which we couldn't test so much after I crashed and broke my right hand in January. To score good results in two complicated races and lead the championship is very important. I got a good start, not spectacular like in Qatar, but effective, so I was able to take the lead. I did my best, I focused on not making mistakes and I was able to manage the race all the way to the finish and get a win in front of the Spanish fans. The crowd gave me incredible support, I hope they enjoyed the race, and it was an honour to get my trophy from the King. Today we are happy but we know that we have to keep working because Yamaha and Ducati are very competitive. We stay here for two days testing that will be crucial in helping us continue development of the RC212V in preparation for the next races."

Nicky Hayden
fourth place, seventh in World Championship
Front tyre: 16" Michelin slick medium Rear tyre: 16.5" Michelin slick medium

"It was fun to be competitive, to come into that stadium section the first lap with 130,000 people coming alive, bombs going off, it was cool, it was nice to be there in the mix. Obviously we'd like to have been having some bubbly afterwards, but the bike worked the best it's worked all weekend and I was pushing hard. After I dropped back a bit I made a run on them, I was trying to give those guys a fight. Then I stayed on the brake a bit too long into turn one and pretty much crashed. It was elbow down and I thought it was done, but the front tyre was good, so I picked it up on the knee and saved it. You can ride these bikes so hard now and the front tyres are so good, that's the first time I've done that. All in all it's been a good day for Repsol Honda, so thanks to my team and for the support from all the guys. We came in here a lot more competitive, hopefully we can keep rolling from here and keep moving up."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"That was an excellent race for the Repsol Honda team, we are really happy. The whole team has done a great job here, worked so hard and I want to thank them for that. I also want to thank Michelin, the tyres worked so well here. Dani had a great race, his concentration level is incredible, and it's also great to see Nicky back up there and enjoying a strong race."

-credit: repsol

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa