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The meteoric rise of Dani Pedrosa consolidated with Assen victory

The meteoric rise of Dani Pedrosa consolidated with Assen victory

The meteoric rise of Dani Pedrosa consolidated with Assen victory

It almost came two weeks previously at his home race in Catalunya, but the legendary circuit of Assen proved to be a fitting venue for the coming of age of Dani Pedrosa. At just 16 years of age and in only his second season of Grand Prix racing the youngster demonstrated his trademark maturity and cool head as he streaked to his first win ahead of a talented and experienced pack.

Pedrosa was signed by Alberto Puig after seeing him in action in the Movistar Activa Cup at the age of 13, and he made an impressive debut season in the 125cc World Championship. Alongside the other revelation of 2001, Toni Elías, the pair took the class by storm with Elías almost snatching the title after an explosive second half of the campaign. Pedrosa provided the perfect foil, scoring points in the second race if the year in South Africa at just 15 years and 205 days and gradually progressing to the podium with third place finishes in Valencia and Motegi.

With the graduation of Elías to the 250 category, Pedrosa has taken on the role of team figurehead with a combination of modesty and determination. Three podium finishes from three races before Holland have now been capped by a well deserved victory which was regarded by many in the sport as merely a question of time.

`I would like to dedicate this victory to my family, my team and above all to Alberto Puig for believing in me and for everything he has taught me,´ said the youngster on his historic achievement. `From the first day in Assen I felt very comfortable, the bike was running perfectly and I was able to give the best of myself. I got a good start and went for it, trying to open up a gap so that I could not be caught like I was in Catalunya. In order to maintain my concentration I just tried to imagine it was a practice session, trying to improve with every lap and enjoying myself at the same time.´

125cc, 2002, Gauloises Dutch TT, Dani Pedrosa

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