Pedrosa makes history with 100th podium finish in Portugal

 In MotoGP, News

The Repsol Honda Team had an historic race at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner dominated the contest right from the opening lap, crossing the line 1.421 seconds ahead of second placed Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa earned his 100th World Championship podium with third place. With this latest victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Stoner has now won at every circuit on the current calendar in the MotoGP class.

The MotoGP race began with a hectic first lap. Pedrosa and Stoner were first and second, respectively, at the end of the home straight. Stoner used the first corner to overtake his teammate around the outside and take the lead, whilst Pedrosa dropped down to third seconds later when he momentarily lost rear tyre grip. Jorge Lorenzo took advantage to move up a place, whilst Pedrosa was thankful for having avoided a crash.

Once these opening positions had been decided, the three leaders kept up the pace, lap after lap. Breaking away from the rest of the pack, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa extended their advantage and avoided any change in position, right up until the chequered flag was waved at the Autódromo de Estoril.

Pedrosa's podium statistics (click to enlarge)

With this third position, Dani Pedrosa joins an elite club of riders with 100 podiums to their name. Only six competitors have acheived the milestone before the Repsol rider: Valentino Rossi —175 podiums—, Giacomo Agostini —159—, Ángel Nieto —139—, Phil Read —121—, Mike Hailwood —112— and Max Biaggi —111—. What’s more, at just 26 years of age he is the second youngest after Rossi in reaching his century.

Since his debut in the World Championship in 2001, the three-time champion has not stopped picking up triumphs. That year he stepped onto the rostrum for the first time and now, eleven years and 179 races later, he is celebrating a hundredth podium. His most successful track for top three finishes is Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, where he holds seven podiums divided across the three categories in which he has competed.

The 2012 season has just begun and the Repsol rider has already claimed top three finishes in the opening trio of Grands Prix. The celebration of his 100th podium will serve as an extra motivation for Number 26 in his battle for the title in the remaining fifteen events. The third position takes Pedrosa to third in the overall standings, 14 points behind Repsol Honda teammate, Casey Stoner, World Championship leader.

Dani Pedrosa 3rd at 3.621 sec.
“It’s been a really tough race from the beginning, the pace was very very high from the first lap to the final one. Casey did a good race, unbelievably strong. I had a big shake in the first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During the race I had some issues in the middle of the corner, I was not fast with corner speed; each lap I tried to get a little better, to try and modify my riding style, the mapping, braking later, I tried everything, I managed to match the lap times but not to close the gap.

Three races on the podium is very good overall, but in three races we missed something, so let’s try it again in the next one. To reach my 100th podium is amazing and shows how fast the time goes. I’m very happy for that and I want to thank all my teams and sponsors during this time and especially Honda because I’ve been with them for my whole career.”

Source: Repsol Media

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