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MotoGP Australia: Leitner leaves as Dani Pedrosa’s crew chief

“It was a last-minute decision by Mike. We respect it... Now we have to think about how to replace him"
Dani Pedrosa will need a new crew chief for 2015, with Mike Leitner deciding to leave at the end of the present MotoGP season.

Leitner has been at Pedrosa's side since the Spaniard's move from the 125 to 250GP in 2004.

Pedrosa won the title during both his seasons in the 250cc class, then took Leitner with him to MotoGP with Repsol Honda in 2006. Pedrosa has since won 26 premier-class races and finished as title runner-up on three occasions.

Leitner made 57 grand prix starts as a 125cc rider before switching to technical roles, including two years at Ohlins before teaming up with Pedrosa.

Repsol Honda team manager Livio Suppo confirmed that Leitner's decision was unexpected.

“It was a last-minute decision by Mike. We respect it. It was a question of changing lifestyle. Now we have to think about how to replace him,” Suppo told the Dorna TV feed.

“No drama. We are all professionals. Dani understands the situation and we keep going in these next three races, which are very important for Dani. So no worries.”

Pedrosa is joint second in the standings with Valentino Rossi heading into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

Earlier in the season it was rumoured that Pedrosa was considering changing his crew chief. The Spanish media suggests that such talk may have prompted Leitner to quit, even though Pedrosa is thought to have ultimately wanted the 52-year-old Austrian to stay.

Tagged as: Dani Pedrosa , leitner

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October 17, 2014 6:36 AM

Such nonsense! He's joint second in the championship equal on points with the great Valentino Rossi and you are calling for him to retire??? I get tired of the lack of weight advantage people throw at this guy. It's actually a real disadvantage when you are trying to get the rear tire to hook up for traction out of corners. It's also a disadvantage trying to change direction, so please give it a rest haters!

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