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Pedrosa and Puig reflect on historic victory

Pedrosa and Puig reflect on historic victory

Pedrosa and Puig reflect on historic victory

Just six months after his serious accident at the Phillip Island circuit last October, 125cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa won the opening round of the 250cc World Championship on his quarter-litre debut at Welkom just over one week ago. The victory made Pedrosa the youngest ever winner of a 250cc race, at the age of 18 years, 7 months and 11 days, and capped an incredible recovery from the two broken ankles which could have ended his career.

"I'm delighted, it's been a massive surprise for me and the whole team," commented the teenager after the race. "I'd like to thank Telefonica, Honda, everyone in general. I want to thank everyone because this last bit of the year has been very difficult for me. The last time I was on the bike I won the race, only to have the accident later.

"I was in really bad shape, but thanks to all the people who helped me recover throughout the winter, from the first physio to the last. Also to my team for having patience with me over the short amount of time together and to Telefonica and Honda. They were patient, and I want to thank them for their support, they've let me get back here."

Pedrosa heads for his home race at Jerez this weekend in cautious but optimistic mood as he looks for his first ever podium at the Spanish track. "We don't know about Jerez yet -we tested there, but as I say, this was a real surprise, so we'll have to see what we can do," he said. "At the moment, my objectives haven't changed and throughout the year we'll see what happens."

For Alberto Puig, Pedrosa's Welkom victory represented another glorious chapter in a fairytale story which began when the former 500cc rider earmarked the youngster as a future champion in a national competition to unearth fresh talent.

"It's great, he did fantastic and we're all very happy," commented Puig. "It was a difficult first race back for him, and I didn't know if he could handle it physically. He hasn't tested much this winter because of his legs. He did it though, I don't know what I can say about him as a rider, for me he's really one of a kind.

"We can always get a set-up for him, but what he's done shows he can go beyond that - the rider is the one who has to work with that after all. He's been superb, we're all in awe of him, and people will have watched it and enjoyed a fantastic race, let's see what happens next.

"This wasn't supposed to happen, we wanted him to pick up the pace of the class slowly, but you see what happens, he's done this! Let's wait and see though."

250cc, 2004, Dani Pedrosa

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