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Pedrosa returns to scene of 2002 triumph hoping for title push

Pedrosa returns to scene of 2002 triumph hoping for title push

Pedrosa returns to scene of 2002 triumph hoping for title push

Whilst Jorge Lorenzo's win at Rio two weeks ago made him the second youngest rider ever to win a Grand Prix, Spanish compatriot Dani Pedrosa this weekend continues his quest to become the second youngest ever 125cc World Champion.

The Honda rider, who completed the ‘set' at Motegi last season (pole position, race win and fastest lap) to follow on from a podium in his rookie year in 2001, leads the championship by 42 points from Stefano Perugini with just four rounds remaining and has only finished outside the top four on three occasions this season. However Pedrosa knows that now is the time to step-up his game having only taken one podium finish in the last six races (his victory at Brno). While Motegi clearly is a strong venue for the champion-elect the same cannot be said for the pretender Perugini. The Italian has a best finish of 20th at the circuit where he has crashed twice. Third placed Alex De Angelis also cannot Motegi as one of his favourites; the youngster has hit the dirt for the last two consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo's victory at Brazil - a race that saw the top six riders separated by less than a second - also extended a record streak of nineteen races in the class without a back-to-back winner. The '03 series has now seen seven different victors. Incredibly 11th placed Mirko Giansanti is the only rider to have scooped points at every GP this year.

Japanese wild-cards could well figure in the running, particularly if the rain arrives, with Youichi Ui and Masao Azuma looking to erase what has been a miserable campaign for both with a strong showing at their home GP.

125cc, 2003, Dani Pedrosa

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