With Valentino Rossi out of action and Casey Stoner struggling with consistent form, Dani Pedrosa chose the perfect time to step up his game as he stormed to victory at the Italian MotoGP in Mugello. The series really needs to see Pedrosa turn all that talent and promise into consistent results and to ensure that the MotoGP season gets the excitement it deserves. If Pedrosa can maintain his form after today, then a mouth-watering battle between Lorenzo and Pedrosa should be on the cards…..with Dovizioso getting in the mix too.
Both Honda riders are also arguably racing to save their job – rumours would suggest that Casey Stoner will be a factory Honda rider next year, so the pressure to perform will weigh heavy on Pedrosa and Dovizioso, which will hopefully translate into some exciting racing.
After the race, Pedrosa made positive noises about his Honda saying that it was pretty much perfect, and after watching Andrea Dovizioso outstripping Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha on the Mugello straight it was pretty clear that Honda have rectified some of their earlier issues and now have a formidable package.
DANI PEDROSA – 1st – World Championship position 2nd 65 points
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win again and I’m so happy for myself and the Repsol Honda Team. We’ve been working really hard and we had some problems through the winter and in the first races, so I’m really delighted with this victory, especially after leading at Jerez for so long but not quite making it. It looks like we are back near where we need to be and the team deserves the victory. I had a great feeling on the bike today, especially at the beginning section of the race and I could open up a gap. To be honest I didn’t see who was behind me, I just looked for the gap on my pit board and tried to ride consistently. It’s important that we are competitive now because we have one weekend off and then three races in a row. The next race is at Silverstone which is a legendary track so I hope that we can match this kind of performance there – and also that this part of England has better weather! I’d like to thank the team again for this result. And I also want to thank the fans here for pushing for Valentino because he’s having a hard time and everyone in the paddock wishes him well.”
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 3rd – World Championship position 4th 58 points
“It’s so special to be on the podium at Mugello in front of my home crowd because I’ve never made the podium in MotoGP here – I always had to watch it on the TV in the garage! It was a really emotional experience up there with all the fans supporting us. I made a good start and this was really important for my race. I wanted to finish the race fighting with Lorenzo because I think it could have been a good battle on the last lap, but I couldn’t catch him. We are getting closer to the front but we are not quite there yet and we have to take the next step so that we can fight for victories. Three podium finishes is a good start to the season and is very important for the championship, and it’s thanks to the hard work we’ve done over the winter and in the first races. I’d like to say congratulations to Dani on the win because he had an incredible pace, and this is an extra motivation for us to take that extra step forward so we can fight for the win.”
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI – REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
“My congratulations go to Dani on this victory because he was in a different class today and it was impossible for anyone to stay with him. His pace was very impressive and he controlled the race totally. Also Andrea did an excellent job and considering his starting position we couldn’t have asked for much more. The Repsol Honda Team has two riders on the podium and we will simply use this as even more motivation to improve and to challenge our rivals. We will enjoy this result, but we are certainly not going to relax at all as we go into the busiest part of the season.”
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