12 October 2003
Dani dominates for first world crown.
By the halfway point, Pedrosa was still looking serene up front, holding a 3.5secs lead over the Lorenzo/Kallio battle, with chasing Luthi, Azuma, Stoner, de Angelis and Giansanti a further second behind. That order would be shaken up again on lap 13 when Stoner, who'd been working his way back up the order, suffered his second huge highside of the weekend as he and his Aprilia were sent tumbling though the gravel trap.
Casey's demise reduced the fight for second into a five-way affair, with Kallio leading Lorenzo, Luthi, de Angelis and Azuma now having dropped Giansanti, but they could do nothing about Pedrosa – 6.6secs ahead with 4 to go.
Onto the last lap and Pedrosa was in cruise control, but behind him the fight for second was still split by nothing, with the order into turn one for the final time Lorenzo, from Kallio, Azuma, Luthi and de Angelis.
Lorenzo did all he could to defend second, but Kallio planned his attack well and blasted past the Spaniard on the long race down into the final turn hairpin. Lorenzo tried to hold a tighter line, but Kallio cut inside on the exit – the two brushing bodywork before Kallio got the better exit and claimed a best ever second, for both himself and KTM.
But five seconds ahead of them, Pedrosa was already punching the air with delight having taken his fifth victory and with it his first world championship. The normally sedate Dani couldn't contain himself after finally achieving his dream and kept holding his head in disbelief on the slow down lap, before being mobbed by Alberto Puig and the rest of his Telefonica team.
The 18-year-old is now the second youngest ever world champion in the history of the sport – behind a certain Loris Capirossi, who hasn't gone on to do too badly for himself...
Pedrosa is all but certain to move to the 250cc class next season, on a full factory Honda, possibly with rising Japanese wild-card star Yukio Takahashi as his team-mate.
Full results to follow...
6. de Angelis
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