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Dani Pedrosa #26

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After standing out in the Movistar Activa Cup, Alberto Puig selected him to play the Spanish championship the following year, where he was 4th. With the same structure, in 2001 he made his debut in the 125cc world championship, with Honda and as a partner of Toni Elías and Joan Olivé. It is striking for its finesse and regularity, finishing in 8th position, adding 100 points and, most importantly, reaching two podiums, the first of them at the Valencia Circuit.

In 2002, Elías left the team and Dani positioned himself as the leader, the big bet. He does not disappoint fighting for the title almost to the end. Get his first World Cup victory in the “Cathedral” of Assen, escaped. He finished with 3 victories, 9 podiums and 3rd in the final classification although he lost key points in races with rain.

For 2003 it was still in the same structure, it started as a favorite and it did not disappoint. Adding 5 victories he won his first world title after winning in Sepang. He cried with emotion and deluded the Spanish fans as had not happened in a long time. The negative point was his first major injury, since the next race after touching the sky, he fell at Phillip Island and broke both ankles.

After missing the preseason, recovering from his injuries, he made his debut in the 250cc class with Honda and always under the guidance of Alberto Puig. He surprised everyone by winning his first race against Randy De Puniet at the Welkom circuit. Since then he has been in the fight for the crown that he obtained at the Phillip Island circuit, where the previous year he had been seriously injured. 7 wins and 13 podiums to win his 2nd consecutive title.

In 2005 he decided to repeat in the 250cc category before jumping and again he won the championship, it was the third in a row. 8 victories and 11 podiums in total. The fans rubbed their hands before his imminent arrival in MotoGP, he would do it hand in hand with the Honda Repsol. Most believed that we were facing a potential champion. The question was not whether it would be or not, but when it would arrive and how many titles could it accumulate.

In 2006 it reached the queen category. He made his debut at the Spanish GP in Jerez and impressed with a 2nd position. The season was very positive, although with the usual irregularity and mistakes of a “rookie”. He got his first MotoGP victory at the Chinese GP and would repeat at Donington Park. He would finish the year in 5th position although fighting for the title until the penultimate test, in which he fell and knocked his teammate Nicky Hayden to the ground.

For 2007 Honda prepared the 800cc RC212V with a smaller size to better suit his height, but the bike did not perform well. This, together with the fact that its Michelin tires performed worse than the Bridgestones, made the final runner-up a big step forward.

For 2008, he was in the fight for the title until he fell at the Sachsenring when he was leading the race and the championship. He was injured, missing the appointment in Alemana and the Laguna Seca race. In the Czech Republic the tires were a disaster, which ended with the break between Honda and Michelin after the San Marino GP. The option to the crown had disappeared and the championship ended in 3rd position.

In 2009 MotoGP would only have one tire supplier, Bridgestone. At last he would have the same weapons as Rossi and Stoner, his great rivals. His results were good but not good enough to fight for the title, finishing in 3rd position again with 2 wins and 11 podiums.

For 2010 he is Jorge Lorenzo’s greatest rival for the title. An uneven start makes you lose points. In Motegi he suffers a serious fall in which the clavicle is injured, saying goodbye to the options. He finished the year runner-up, repeating the result of 2007, although with 4 victories and 9 podiums in total.

For 2011 he has Dovizioso and Stoner as teammates, always in the official Honda team. Dani leads MotoGP after three races when at Le Mans he falls into a controversial action with Marco Simoncelli, fracturing his collarbone again. His options fade away again. He finished the year adding three more victories and being 4th in the championship.

In 2012 we saw the best version of Dani Pedrosa, without injuries and with a very competitive bike, he obtained better results than Stoner and fights against Jorge Lorenzo for the title. Bad luck is at stake again when, about to start the San Marino GP, starting from pole, the heater on his front tire mysteriously jams without the possibility of fixing it in time. Pedrosa is penalized by starting last. The start is given and in the middle of a comeback, Barberá hits him from behind and both fall. Almost all of your options mortgaged. Dani tried but in the penultimate test at Phillip Island, he fell when trying to finish in front of his rival, losing the mathematical options. In the last race Dani wins starting from Pit Lane, being the driver with the most victories that year.

In 2013, at the Qatar press conference, Valentino Rossi himself pointed him out as the man to beat. In fact, he was leading until the middle of the championship when he suffered a very hard fall at the Sachsenring where he fractured his collarbone and suffered a concussion. That was the key moment of a year that initially had many ballots to win the MotoGP title at the end. He would get 3 victories and up to 13 podiums to be overtaken at the end by his teammate Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

In 2014 he started doing podiums regularly, but always behind his teammate. He looked like he could take the runner-up, but two retirements at Phillip Island and Sepang doomed his options, finishing 4th with the only win in Brno.

For 2015 he went from dream to nightmare in a single Grand Prix. In Qatar he was 6th and after the race he announced his indefinite withdrawal from the championship. The reason? His problems in his right forearm, which made him run with pain and loss of sensation. Dani underwent an aggressive operation for compartment syndrome which was fortunately successful and he was able to compete again at Le Mans. His end of the year was good with victories in Motegi and Sepang, finishing 4th again in the general classification.

For 2016 with the arrival of Michelin as the sole tire supplier, Dani was optimistic and in fact in preseason he did well in the first contact, although the reality afterwards was very different. A nervous new “backwards spinning” engine type, coupled with the new tires and unique electronics, put me far behind from the start. As a result his worst season in MotoGP, finishing 6th and with a new injury suffered at Motegi. His only joy came at the San Marino GP where he made a great comeback to beat Valentino Rossi.

In 2017 with the new “Big Bang” engine in Honda, it was not easy either, despite everything it has added 9 podiums, the 2nd with more this year after champion Marc Márquez. He reaped victory in Jerez, together with good races that placed him among the favorites, but he was always in tow. Races in the rain marked his performance as he could not get the tires to work in such cold conditions, losing points that made him say goodbye to the title before the end. At least he could say goodbye with a great taste in his mouth, with victory at the Valencia Circuit.

By 2018 the dream of being a MotoGP champion was over. In his worst season in the World Championship, in which he was not even on the podium, Dani Pedrosa was not renewed with Honda and decided to retire from the competition. He will remain linked to the championship as a KTM tester from the following season.

  • Date of birth: September 29, 1985
  • Place of birth: Sabadell (Barcelona)
  • Weight: 51 kilos
  • Height: 1.60 meters
  • Motorbike: Honda
  • Number: 26
  • Helmet: Arai
  • Jumpsuit: Alpinestars
  • Sponsors: Repsol, Red Bull, Arai, Alpinestars, Estrella Galicia.

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