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MotoGP Misano: Analysing the win with Dani Pedrosa

When it’s Dani Pedrosa’s day, and it was in the Misano MotoGP round today, he is pretty difficult to beat. Valentino Rossi knows it well: “I was confident that the win was handy but when I saw on my pit-board the name of Dani Pedrosa, I thought, ‘What the ... couldn’t he wait one more week, to wake up in Aragon in front of his fans?’.”

Rossi was leading the San Marino Grand Prix in front of 100,000 fans but the pace of the Honda rider was unbeatable and Rossi couldn’t reply to the Honda man’s attack. “A Marc Marquez’s style pass” - as Rossi defined it - allowed him to take the lead and win with 2.8 seconds of advantage on Valentino Rossi and 4.3 on Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa’s victory marked the eighth different winner in 2016, an all-time first since the championship began in 1949 - and he did it from eighth on the grid. In addition, he put an end to a very difficult first part of the season with only two podium finishes in Argentina and Barcelona before today’s stunning victory, the 29th in the premiere class and the 52nd in career.


The disappointment of the yellow tide of the Number 46’s fans, who were packing the grand stands of the Misano World Circuit, was big, but everyone applauded Pedrosa, one of the most beloved rider in the MotoGP paddock. Dani in fact is one of the most experienced riders of the grid.

He has spent 10 full seasons in the premier class, always in Honda colours. At Misano he conquered the first win of his 11th season, reaching an important milestone: 15 years in a row with at least one victory per year. The Spaniard is now back to fourth in the championship with 145 points. With him, we rewind the highlights of a perfect race:

First win of the year: “I’m really happy because it has been a tough season so far. Throughout the whole weekend I had a good feeling except for the qualifying when I finished eighth. In the race I decided to focus on my rhythm and this was the winning key. I was able to ride consistently and lap after lap I could be fast. I stopped losing terrain and I started to gain. I made a good start and I succeeded to close the gap from the front riders. I started to think that the podium was possible, then the win arrived. The pace was really high today, close to my fast lap.”

Analysis: “I took the start from the 8th spot on the grid, I had a good start but I was not super fast in the first laps. Valentino set a strong pace and started to build a gap, while I was riding alone for several laps when I was 4th. Then little by little I start to close the gap. The key was to take my time without pushing too much. I couldn’t imagine I was going to win. I fought hard with Andrea Dovizioso for 3-4 laps but once I passed me I put Marc, Jorge and Vale in the viewfinder. One at the time, trying to chose the right time to pass. When I saw that I had a very fast pace, I went for it. It was the day to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Robust passes: “I knew I had the fastest pace and – at the same time - I knew I couldn’t make a mistake so I went for a clean but decisive overtake. The most difficult part was to pass Andrea Dovizioso, because at the beginning of the race with the new tyres the bike was accelerating a lot with the grip and he was stronger on the straight. Then I caught Marc (Marquez), Jorge (Lorenzo) and finally Valentino (Rossi). With him it was an overtake a bit to the limit but in the end everything went well. It’s difficult to be very precise especially in the last part of the race. Valentino was braking stronger so it was difficult to pass him. I knew he was going to respond, so I decided to keep the concentration and trying to go away. I had the opportunity to brake late and I took the opportunity.”

Soft front tyre: “I had used this option only in the morning practices when the temperature was lower, not in the afternoon, so it was a bit of a gamble but I decided to trust my feeling. It’s not really a soft tyre. It’s a “medium”. I decided for it, but then on the grid I realized that I was the only one to have adopted this option and I was a bit scared. Then I said to myself: it’s the right choice, I just have to focus on my pace.”

Bike: “On this track the bike was working well. I had no new parts or something special. In occasion of the test in Brno we did a small change in the set up that for me was a small step forward. The feeling improved, although it was not perfect. We decided not to make additional changes and to focus to learn the bike. The confidence improved, I was able to understand better how the tyres work. We also worked and improved the electronics. In Silverstone we did a step forward and this weekend I started with the right foot from Friday. In the race I was the only one to choose the soft tyre, I don’t know if this has made the difference, but for me it worked.”

Eight different winners in the last eight races:
“It’s very difficult to stay at the front every race weekend. Here I was able to use my strong points. I took time and I focused on my race pace.”

Is Dani Pedrosa back? “We need to keep our head down and keep on working. I don’t want to give anything for granted. This time we succeeded to make a perfect race, I keep been realistic.”

Motivation: “To keep the motivation and the concentration high when the results are not coming is the most difficult part. Not only for me as a rider, but also to keep the motivation of the team and the people who work with you. Little by little we have improved and I’m really happy with this result also for my team, my family and all the persons that keep on supporting me.”


New challenge: “It’s always good to look for new challenges and to keep the motivation high is the key. Yes, I have evaluated all the options for next year, but in the end I have decided to keep on with Honda, the Manufacturer I have been throughout all my career.”

New chief mechanic in 2017: Pedrosa didn’t confirm or deny that next year he will change chief mechanic, especially in a day when Ramon Aurin, his current crew chief, declared: “Dani is finally back and that he is back to stay.”

“This is not the moment to speak about this”, said the Honda rider…

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