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Pedrosa podiums for Honda.

Just two weeks after limping home in eleventh place at Qatar, Dani Pedrosa saved Honda honour with a 'fantastic' third in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at the Honda-owned Motegi circuit.

Starting just eleventh on the grid and still suffering after last month's knee and forearm surgery, Pedrosa rocketed up to second position behind only Valentino Rossi into turn one.

The Spaniard thought it unlikely that he'd be able to run at the front for long, but surprised himself by being no lower than third for the remainder of the race - and briefly overtaking Rossi for second on lap 18 of 24.

“I'm very happy with this result,” said Dani. “I've had injury problems for a long time - since last October - and so to be on the podium in the second race of the season is fantastic for me, and really we didn't expect this so soon.

“I got a good start - the start was really the key part of my race - and I was able to get away with the front group. I couldn't really believe it when I stayed with them because I was expecting to drop back after maybe one or two laps. But then it was lap five or six and I was still there and I was thinking, 'this is unbelievable',” he added.

Pedrosa eventually finished 3.8sec behind winner Jorge Lorenzo, compared with 48.526sec at Qatar.

“In the end I was near the front for the whole race, had a good battle for second, and finished on the podium so this is great,” he declared. “We still have to sort out some issues on the machine, but it's a very positive result going in to the Jerez, and I'd like to say big thanks to the team and the fans.”

Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was pipped for fourth place on the second-to-last lap by Qatar winner Casey Stoner, but was pleased with his pace after a difficult, rain-affected weekend that saw yesterday's qualifying session cancelled due to heavy rain.

“I'm pretty happy after this race because, considering that we struggled a lot during all the practice sessions, we were able to stay near the front for 24 laps,” said Dovi, after his second race as a factory Honda rider.

“I was pushing really hard for a podium finish for the whole race but in the end I couldn't make it. It was a tough race and this is a very demanding track, with many hard braking zones so we struggled a lot physically to achieve this result.”

The Italian also paid tribute to the performance of Pedrosa.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pedrosa, Rossi and Dovizioso, Japanese MotoGP Race 2009
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Dovizioso, Marquez Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Marquez Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Dovizioso, Petrucci, Marquez Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Petrucci Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow Dutch MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Miller Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow Dutch MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Dovizioso, Crutchlow Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Vinales, Bautista  Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Bautista, Vinales, Pedrosa Dutch MotoGP 2017
Iannone, Dovizioso Dutch MotoGP 2017
Bautista, Redding, Dovizioso Dutch MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, Pedrosa Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Petrucci, Dovizioso Dutch MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Marquez, Dutch MotoGP 2017

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Vipester458 - Unregistered

April 26, 2009 1:23 PM

wot a race!! Well done Dani!! If this is wot he can do when he isnt quite fully fit then those other guys better watch out when he is. We know how good Dani is but then people started to say he has no chance with the injuries hes had to put pressure on Stoner and Rossi and co, big mistake. Keep goin Dani.

avryl lia

April 26, 2009 12:27 PM

dani... great!!! :blush: your performance ummm awesome :) in your 80% condition 11th to 3rd (almost 2nd) u fighted with vale... oh i still can believe that... like u said that this is unbelievable... not really late to my birthday on april 20 :) thx for the nicest gift... u give good performance... other spaniards give victories, jorge n alva :) go spaniard... thx for all -pedrosa's-

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