Saturday, May 22, 2010
Dani Pedrosa started riding bikes at the early age of four, when he got his first motorcycle, an Italjet 50, which had side-wheels. His first racing bike was a minibike replica of Kawasaki, which he got at the age of six and which he used to race with his friends. Pedrosa experienced real racing at the age of 9, when he entered the Spanish Minibike Championship and ended his debut season in second place, scoring his first podium finish in the second race of the season. The next year, Pedrosa entered the same championship, but health problems prevented him from improving his results and he ended that season in 3rd position.
In 2001, Pedrosa made his World Championship debut in the 125cc class after being selected from the Movistar Activa Cup, a series designed to promote fresh racing talent in Spain, back in 1999. Under the guidance of Alberto Puig, Pedrosa scored two podium finishes in the first season and won his first race the following year, when he finished third in the championship. In 2003, he won five races and won the championship with two rounds remaining, scoring 223 points. In his first championship winning year, Pedrosa scored five victories and six podium finishes. A week after winning the championship, eighteen-year-old Pedrosa broke both of his ankles in a crash during practice at Phillip Island (Australia), ending his season.
After winning the 125cc Championship, Pedrosa moved up to the 250cc class in 2004 without a proper test on the new bike because his ankles were healing during the off-season. Going into the season unprepared, Pedrosa won the first race in South Africa and went on to clinch the 250cc World Championship title, including rookie of the year honours. In his first season in 250cc class, Pedrosa scored 7 victories and 13 podium finishes. Pedrosa decided to stay for one more season in 250cc class, and he won another title, once again with two races remaining in championship. In 2005, Pedrosa won 8 races and scored 14 podium finishes, despite a shoulder injury he sustained in practice session for Japanese Grand Prix.
Dani Pedrosa on board the Repsol Honda RC211V.
Pedrosa made the move to 990cc MotoGP bikes in 2006, riding for Repsol Honda. Critics said that Pedrosa's tiny stature wasn't strong enough to handle a big, heavy MotoGP bike and successfully race in the premier class. Proving them wrong, he finished second in the opening round at Jerez on March 26, 2006. At his fourth ever MotoGP appearance, on May 14, 2006, during the Chinese Grand Prix race weekend held in Shanghai, he won his first MotoGP race. This win made him the exact equal 2nd youngest winner (tied with the late Norick Abe) in the Premier Class behind Freddie Spencer. He won his second MotoGP race at Donington Park and became a strong candidate for the MotoGP Championship. It was a memorable victory for Dani, who shared the podium first time with Valentino Rossi in 2nd place. He also took 2 pole positions in the first half of the season.
Until the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, Pedrosa was 2nd in the Championship only behind his more experienced team-mate Nicky Hayden. However, he fell heavily during Free Practice and suffered a severe gash to the knee, which practically rendered him immobile. Pedrosa qualified 5th on the grid in that race due to the cancellation of the qualifying session proper due to heavy rainfall. He miraculously managed to finish 3rd in that race, only behind Rossi and Ducati rider Loris Capirossi. However, in the next races, his form dropped and he struggled with the bike, moving him down to 5th place in the MotoGP standings.
His poor performance continued at Estoril. After a promising start, he briefly ran 2nd before being passed by Colin Edwards and then championship leader and teammate Nicky Hayden. On lap 5, he and Hayden were involved in a crash. Pedrosa made a mistake whilst trying to overtake Hayden, slid and crashed out of the race, taking out Hayden on the way. This crash ended his slim chances of winning the championship and also caused Hayden to lose his lead in the championship standings, as Rossi managed to finish 2nd.
Pedrosa continued to race with Honda in 2007 on their Honda RC212V, the new 800 cc bike. The machine had problems, and Pedrosa was taken out of races by Olivier Jacque and by Randy de Puniet, but he finished the season in second place behind Stoner and ahead of Rossi. He signed a 2-year contract with Repsol Honda for 2008 and 2009.
In 2008 Pedrosa's problems with the RC212V continued when he was injured in the pre-season and missed developmental testing, but started the season well by scoring a podium at the first round. While leading the race and the standings in the German round, he crashed and was injured, keeping him from racing in the following two rounds. Michelin's performance in MotoGP deteriorated, resulting in Pedrosa switching to Bridgestone at the Indianapolis round. He finished third in the standings in 2008.
As in 2008, Pedrosa crashed in the 2009 pre-season and injured himself, keeping him from testing the machine before the start of the season. He placed 11th in the first round, but recovered his fitness in the following rounds. At the fifth round he injured himself again in practice and then fell during the race, putting him 33 points behind the leader.
For 2010, Dani Pedrosa has reverted to number 26—a number he used when he first entered MotoGP—from number 3. He took this decision to please his fans who had asked him to return to the number he had always used.
2003 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix (125cc) Double fracture in the talus bone of the left foot and a fracture of the right ankle.
2005 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix (250cc) Fracture of the left humeral head that affected the supraspinal tendon.
2006 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Small fracture of the small left toe and loss of cutaneous matter on the right knee. 5 stitches in that vertical cut.
2007 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Thoracic trauma, blow to the left gluteus and neck trauma.
2007 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Post-traumatic arthritis with inflammation to the small toe of the left foot.
2008 Sepang test 2008 (MotoGP) Fracture of the second metacarpal in the right hand, with three diaphyseal fragments, which are the bones that are found in the middle part of the metacarpus.
2008 German motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) General inflammation of the left hand with hematomas in the veins of the extensor tendons. Displaced fracture of the distal phalanx of the left index finger. A sprain of the interphalangeal articulation next to the left middle finger. Fracture of the large bone of the left wrist. Sprain of the lateral external ligament of the right ankle.
2008 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Capsular hematoma on the left knee that had to be treated two months after.
2009 Qatar test (MotoGP) Fracture of the radius of the left arm and contusion on the left knee that required a skin graft, because the scar re-opened from an operation before Christmas.
2009 Italian motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) Incomplete fracture of the greater trochanter of the right femur. A fracture without displacement, an injury that requires absolute rest and treatment with painkillers.
2009 December (MotoGP) Underwent an operation to remove a screw from his left wrist.
Seas Class Moto Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2001 125cc Honda RS125R 16 0 2 0 0 100 8th –
2002 125cc Honda RS125R 16 3 9 6 2 243 3rd –
2003 125cc Honda RS125R 14 5 6 3 3 223 1st 1
2004 250cc Honda RS250RW 16 7 13 4 8 317 1st 1
2005 250cc Honda RS250RW 16 8 11 5 7 309 1st 1
2006 MotoGP Honda RC211V Honda-HRC 17 2 8 4 4 215 5th –
2007 MotoGP Honda RC212V Honda-HRC 18 2 8 5 3 242 2nd –
2008 MotoGP Honda RC212V Honda-HRC 17 2 11 2 2 249 3rd –
2009 MotoGP Honda RC212V Honda-HRC 17 2 11 2 5 234 3rd –
2010 MotoGP Honda RC212V Honda-HRC 2 0 1 1 1 29* 3rd* –
Total 149 31 80 33 35 2161 3
* Season in progress.
Class Seas 1st GP 1st Pod 1st Win Race Win Podiums Pole FLap Pts WChmp
125 cc 2001–2003 2001 Japan 2001 Valencia 2002 Dutch 46 8 17 9 5 566 1
250 cc 2004–2005 2004 S. Africa 2004 S. Africa 2004 S. Africa 32 15 24 9 15 626 2
MotoGP 2006–Present 2006 Spain 2006 Spain 2006 China 71 8 39 14 15 969 0
Total 2001–Present 149 31 80 33 35 2161 3
Races by year
(Races in bold indicate pole position)
Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
2001 125 cc Honda JPN
Ret 8th 100
2002 125 cc Honda JPN
1 3rd 243
2003 125 cc Honda JPN
2004 250 cc Honda RSA
1 1st 317
2005 250 cc Honda SPA
1 1st 309
2006 MotoGP Honda SPA
4 5th 215
2007 MotoGP Honda QAT
1 2nd 242
2008 MotoGP Honda QAT
2 3rd 249
2009 MotoGP Honda QAT
1 3rd 234
2010 MotoGP Honda QAT
* Season in progress.