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