PEDROSA PILES ON POINTS
A brilliant third place from 13th on the grid sees Dani dive into world title contention
Dani Pedrosa is right in the fight for the 2017 Motogp world title after a stunning ride in Sunday’s French Grand Prix.
Pedrosa piled through the field from 13th on the grid to take a brilliant third place. The result leaves him second in the title race behind race winner and new series leader, Maverick Viñales.
Backing up his victory last time out in Jerez with the Le Mans podium, the Repsol Honda rider has found his form much earlier in the season than usual, meaning that for the first time since 2012 he looks to be a legitimate title contender.
Yet the result didn’t come easily for Pedrosa, who admitted after the race that Saturday was a particularly sleepless night for him when faced with the prospect of cutting his way through Le Mans’ tight opening corners.
“It was a very hard situation before the start of the race. I spent all night thinking ‘how can I make it through the first chicane?’ When you’re so far back in the pack it’s so easy to touch someone or have someone touch you and to make a mistake early on.
“After that chicane the race stretches out so much, and it’s hard to make up the ground. I knew that I had good pace, and that gave me confidence, but at the same time I knew I had to get through and everything was focused on that.”
But after a strong and incident-free start, the 31-year-old Spaniard stunned during the middle section of the race, charging through to take first Andrea Dovizioso and then Cal Crutchlow with a really aggressive move.
“The pass with Cal was on the limit. I saw the opening when he made a little mistake and I went for it through the inside of the corner. But leaning on the right side of the bike meant I couldn’t see him when he closed the door on me! He was just recovering his line when we touched, but we were fortunate that neither of us crashed.”
Pedrosa admitted that it was nice to be rewarded for so much hard work with a podium finish after title rivals Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi crashed out.
“It was a nice gift at the end from Valentino! It’s a nice gift to be given after starting so far back on the fifth row and after making it through the chicane on lap one – that alone was a big relief!
“It’s nice to come away from France with a good posit ion in the championship. My feeling with the bike is improving little by little as well, so we just need to continue on this path now.”
‘ The pass on Cal was on the limit. We were lucky neither of us crashed’ DANI PEDROSA
Pedrosa was thrilled with his third place