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Pedrosa breaks victory drought.

Dani Pedrosa beat the MotoGP title contenders to claim Honda's first race win for over a year at Laguna Seca on Sunday, but it was almost taken away from him at the very final turn.

Having blasted past Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner into turn one, Pedrosa unexpectedly found the pace to pull away from the championship leaders. The Repsol Honda rider was 3.3sec clear of pre-race favourite Rossi by the halfway stage of the 32 laps, before conceding ground gradually in the closing stages.

The last lap began with Pedrosa still an apparently safe 1.573sec in front of Rossi, but Pedrosa then backed off too much - dropping his lap time into the 1min 23sec for the first time since lap two. By contrast, Rossi's last lap was a low 1min 22sec, putting the Italian almost within striking distance with just a few corners to go.

The reigning six time MotoGP world champion attempted to outbrake Pedrosa into the final hairpin, but it was too much of stretch and Pedrosa held on to win by just 0.344sec.

Afterwards, Pedrosa admitted he had miscalculated his advantage.

“I got a good start, I was able to get into a good rhythm straight away and my pace was a little better than in practice. Perhaps my only mistake here was to slow down too much on the last lap because I didn't realise how close Valentino was,” he confessed. “Anyway, it was a great race, a great day and it's a great feeling.”

Pedrosa and Honda's last victory was in round seven of the 2008 championship, a gap of 18 races - during which he has suffered repeated injury.

“This is a fantastic win for us and it's a great feeling after such a long time without a victory,” said Dani. “The start to the season has been really difficult and actually it's been tough since Sachsenring last year because I've had a lot of injuries and I haven't been able to ride at 100 per cent for a long time, or train properly.

“But my team and Honda never gave up and I'd like to thank everyone who's been working really hard to help me get back to this position. I'd also like to thank the doctors who have treated me because there have been quite a few of them!”

Pedrosa is now back up to fourth in the world championship, but 43 behind third placed Casey Stoner and 59 behind title leader Rossi.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pedrosa leads on the last corner from Rossi, U.S. MotoGP 2009
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Jorge Lorenzo, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Silverstone [Credit: Monster Energy]
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Redding, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016

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vipester458 - Unregistered

July 07, 2009 11:00 PM

Well done dani !!! I thought you rode a fantastic race and surprised everyone. And as for the whole thing of Dani doesnt show emotions, did you see the great big smile on his face and holdin back the tears on the podium. Hats off to you Dani, cant wait til the next race.

alaywa - Unregistered

July 06, 2009 2:30 AM

Now that Pedrosa is back I see him snatching 3rd from Stoner by the end of the season as Stoner and his mono slip back in the points. Dani will now be able to consistently steel points from the top 3 to spread them out in the standings a bit more while clawing back points for himself. I predict Dani will be a major deciding factor in the outcome of the Championship...that wild card factor!



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