OH DANI BOY!

Spain’s Dani Pe­drosa be­comes the eighth con­sec­u­tive new win­ner in a Motogp sea­son that just keeps giv­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN ITALY MOTOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Dani Pe­drosa stunned his ri­vals by tak­ing an em­phatic Motogp vic­tory at the San Marino Grand Prix. The 30-year-old Spa­niard scythed his way through the field from a third row start to in­cred­i­bly be­come the eighth suc­ces­sive dif­fer­ent rider to win in 2016.

Whi le it’s been an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult sea­son so far for the Rep­sol Honda rider, Pe­drosa, a 29time Motogp race win­ner, never put a foot wrong dur­ing Sun­day’s epic per­for­mance, mak­ing the most of a brave de­ci­sion to run Miche­lin’s soft­est front tyre op­tion and then util­is­ing the rub­ber to stun­ning ef­fect.

Start­ing slowly in the race af­ter a poor qual­i­fy­ing, Pe­drosa set lap record af­ter lap record as he forced his way through the field to take his first win since Sepang 2015.

“Every lap, I could see lit­tle by lit­tle that I was start­ing to catch them,” ex­plained Pe­drosa. “I knew that the key was not to make many mis­takes and not to fight too much. I didn’t think about the vic­tory un­til only about 10 laps to go. I could see I was catch­ing the podium rid­ers, but at the same time I didn’t think the win was pos­si­ble.

“A lit­tle later, I saw that I could catch Valentino. I tried to keep my fo­cus for the last part of the race, and to take my chance for the vic­tory at the end. In the last few races there have been many win­ners, and I am glad that fi­nally it was my chance.

“It’s been su­per-dif­fi­cult in the past few races, but I’ve got so much sup­port from my team, my fans, and my fam­ily and friends, and it’s nice to give them this vic­tory. I’m just glad to be back.”

And Pe­drosa was able to make the most of Miche­lin’s new-con­struc­tion softer tyres to take the win. He ad­mit­ted af­ter the race that the suc­cess has come as a cul­mi­na­tion of changes.

Fi­nally find­ing the base set­ting he’s been chas­ing all sea­son on the RC213V, the 30-year-old’s win was aided not only by the tyres but also by a new un­der­stand­ing of the bike.

“There were no new parts on the bike! Since the test at Brno, we just rechecked some small part in the bike and just con­firmed what was good – and then went back to what we had at the very be­gin­ning. But at the end of the day, we tried a new set­ting, and I was less un­happy with it. We kept it like that, be­cause I could feel the tyres bet­ter – and we’ve kept it like that since!

“Lit­tle by lit­tle, I’ve been able to feel how to ride the tyres a lit­tle bet­ter. First at Sil­ver­stone and then at Misano, I un­der­stood them a lit­tle more. Of course, there are still some things we need to im­prove, but al­ready the feel­ing since Brno has im­proved. That’s what we needed.

But while it would be easy for the Spa­niard to rest on his lau­rels af­ter fi­nally find­ing light at the end of a very dark tun­nel, Pe­drosa also con­ceded af­ter the race that the topsy-turvy na­ture of 2016 means that’s now the last thing he can do.

“We need to keep our feet on the ground, be­cause you can see that in every race there are a few rid­ers that can be very fast. Some­times it’s been dif­fi­cult for me to even go straight into qual­i­fy­ing two, so we need to stay fo­cused on the next race, as we have done all year. We can’t re­lax.

“The win feels very good and gives you mo­ti­va­tion for the next race – but the other rid­ers who didn’t win to­day are even more mo­ti­vated to im­prove. We need to think that way and still be strong for the next race.”

‘In the last few races there have been many win­ners, I am glad that fi­nally it was my chance’ DANI PE­DROSA

It’s been al­most a year since Pe­drosa sprayed bub­bly from the top of the ros­trum

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