Pedrosa delighted with second place after gritty performance in chaotic race
This Sunday Jerez has seen an amazing Grand Prix, with mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda team riders. From the happiness for Dani Pedrosa’s heroic race to Casey Stoner’s misfortune, who after being hit by Valentino Rossi, was forced to retire. Andrea Dovizioso had his own troubles in this race, where he finished twelfth after having to stop in the garage.
The race began with a good start for the three Repsol riders, although while Stoner was able to hold his first place, Dani Pedrosa lost ground and dropped to the eleventh position. Andrea Dovizioso, who had gained two places and was fourth, saw how Valentino Rossi overtook him in the third lap, two laps before Simoncelli overtook Stoner, who fell to the second place.
Three laps later, Rossi was third after overtaking Lorenzo and Casey Stoner was hit by the Italian who had lost control of his bike at the end of the straight. The Australian rider of the Repsol Honda Team tried to go back to the track, but was not able to do it and was frustrated to see that no steward helped him to start his bike again.
In the same lap, Pedrosa took fifth place after overtaking his team mate Andrea Dovizioso and, in the following lap, the Repsol rider caught up with Ben Spies. It only took him a lap to try to overtake the American at the “Sito Pons” corner and take the fourth position at the end of the Dry Sack straight. The rider from Castellar climbed steadily in the classification and on lap 11 he overtook Nicky Hayden to place himself in podium position.
Some seconds after that, Marco Simoncelli, leader of the race, lost control of his bike, leaving Pedrosa in second position. Without slowing his pace, Dani recovered some ground over Lorenzo and was able to be only one second behind the rider from Mallorca. But the Repsol Honda Team rider was riding with an injury and he knew that his physical conditions will take his toll sooner or later. After the first part of the race, he had to stop trying to catch his fellow countryman and a new race started for him, managing his advantage over the third -Spies- and trying to stay on the bike without making any mistakes.
Five laps from the end, Alberto Puig’s pupil had to face a new attack from Spies and in the next lap he was overtaken by the American on Dry Sack, although this time fortune helped the Spaniard, as one lap later he recovered a well-deserved second place when Spies crashed. A hard-earned and valuable podium for the Spanish rider of the Repsol Honda Team who in the next 48 hours will undergo surgery -the titanium plate and screws will be taken out- with the aim to recover the feeling in his left arm.
In the overall classification, Pedrosa gains a position and is now second with 36 points, 9 points behind Lorenzo and 11 ahead of Stoner, who is now third in the World Championship with the 25 points he gathered in Qatar. Andrea Dovizioso, with 17 points, is seventh in the overall classification.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd at 19.339 sec.
“It’s been a very difficult race. At the start, many riders overtook me and I thought “that’s it”. Anyway, I knew there were 27 laps and the situation was difficult for the tyres. I was a little nervous after my bad start, but when I realised that in the first lap I was faster than in the warm up, I calmed down and started to improve. I took a good pace and had to ride at maximum concentration in order not to not make any mistakes, it was very easy to crash.
Some riders started falling down and it was a matter of resisting there. I tried to catch Lorenzo when I saw that his gap was under 1 second, but at 10 laps to go the tyres were almost finished; I couldn’t even open the throttle on the straight because the track was very slippery. When Spies crashed, my gap with Nicky was big enough to keep the second place and I crossed the finish line very very happy. It’s been a tough weekend for the arm injury, today I also had numbness and lack of strength, but to ride in wet has helped me because it’s not as aggressive as in dry conditions.
To leave Jerez with a second place finish, after the third place in Qatar, is amazing. We are 9 points behind the Championship leader and it’s a good gap to resume the Championship again in Estoril. On Friday we considered whether it was worth racing here or better to pull out thinking about the operation. So this second place is amazing. We’ve been doing great, but now comes the hard time, the surgery. Nobody likes to undergo surgery, but this time I almost wish for it because I want to end the pain and problems and start competing fully fit”.
Source: Repsol Media