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Dani Pedrosa: It was total chaos
16 September 2012
Dani Pedrosa and Repsol Honda have explained the chaotic chain of events that ended with the MotoGP title contender being knocked off on the opening lap of the restarted Misano race.
All was going to plan for Pedrosa as he waited in pole position for the red lights to disappear, but a problem for Karel Abraham forced the start to be abandoned at the last moment.
When Pedrosa's crew then went to remove his front tyre warmer for the restart they found that the wheel was locked solid - and his bike was removed from the grid to be worked on.
Mechanics quickly resolved the brake issue and Pedrosa's bike was returned to the grid - before any rider had left to start the sighting lap.
But Pedrosa was forced to start from last place on the grid - the reason given at the time being that "his engine was started from the pit lane".
However Pedrosa's bike was clearly started after
it had been pushed back onto the grid. Repsol Honda later explained that the grid penalty was due to the brake issue being "resolved after the permitted time".
Pedrosa shook his head and pointed down at his bike as he began the sighting lap, suggesting further problems, and dropped behind the safety car on his way to the grid.
But once the race got underway Pedrosa's bike seemed to be in full working order as he carved his way forwards from 21st - and was inside the top ten in the space of a few corners.
It all counted for nothing when he was hit from behind by Hector Barbera at turn six, pitching Pedrosa into a highside and his first non-score of the year (see below for further pictures).
“It's was total chaos and many things happened at the same time,” said Pedrosa, who revealed there had been confusion on the grid even before his front wheel problem.
“It all began with the restart because the procedure was not at all clear. Nobody knew if it was one minute, three minutes, warmers on or off...
“We were also getting different information about the number of laps, 26, 27... Then suddenly we were told it was 1 minute to the start of the race, with no board signage, nothing.
“The mechanics were rushing to prepare and when they tried to take off the warmers my front wheel was somehow locked, they tried to unlocked it but they weren't able to and due to the 1 minute warning - where they are not allowed to touch the bike anymore - they put me to the back of the grid.
“I tried to remain focused, not make any mistake on the first lap, make clear moves to overtake riders and I was 8th or 9th by the sixth corner when Barberá hit me from behind, and that was it.
“I'm very upset because even it's easy to say now, I think I could have had a chance to win this race, even starting from the last place on the grid.
“Now the Championship is obviously more uphill for me, but I will continue the same way.
“We have done everything we could so far, the bike is working well and I'm riding well, too. So it's not over for me; there are still five races to go and we will do our best.”
Victory for Jorge Lorenzo means Pedrosa has dropped from 13 to 38 points behind the Yamaha rider.
Lorenzo has also suffered one DNF this year, after being taken out at Assen.