Daniel Pedrosa: 2004 250cc World Champion
Birth date: 29/09/1985
Birth place: Sabadell, SPA
First Grand Prix: 2001 JPN 125cc
First Pole Position 2002 JPN 125cc
First Race Fastest Lap 2002 MOT 125cc
First Podium 2001 VAL 125cc
First GP Victory 2002 NED 125cc
Grand Prix Starts : 61
125cc Starts: 46
250cc Starts : 15
Grand Prix Victories : 14
125cc Victories: 8
250cc Victories: 6
2nd Placements: 9
3rd placements: 6
Pole Positions: 12
Race Fastest Lap: 12
World Championship Wins 2
Total Points: 858
Dani Pedrosa's passion for motorcycles began, like many of the top current riders, as a small child riding pocket-bikes. By the age of twelve he had won the national championship in his native Spain, but a lack of funds almost curtailed his promising career before it had begun. However, a revolutionary search for fresh racing talent in Spain headed by former Grand Prix star Alberto Puig with funding from telecommunications company MoviStar gave the youngster the opportunity to prove himself on a bigger stage and he took it with both hands.
After responding to a national advertisement, Pedrosa competed in the MoviStar Activa Cup in 1999 and was one of the riders selected by Puig from hundreds of hopefuls to contest the 125cc Spanish Championship in 2000. Four pole positions from twelve rounds and fourth position overall was enough to convince Puig to select him as part of a three-man team alongside Toni Elias and Joan Olive to contest the 125cc World Championship in 2001.
Pedrosa won the Rookie of the Year title, scoring two podiums at just 15 years of age and in 2002 he finished third in the 125cc World Championship with three wins and a total of nine podiums. One year later he became the second youngest World Champion of all time, winning the title with two races to spare.
Despite breaking both of his ankles in the penultimate round of his title-winning season, Pedrosa recovered in time to make a stunning 250cc debut at the start of 2004 in South Africa, where he took a memorable victory. The youngster took a further six victories and eleven podiums before clinching the title at the fifteenth round of the season in Australia.
2001: World Championship debut at the 125cc Japan GP riding an Honda in Team Telefonica Movistar Junior Team.
Final Championship position: 8th with 100 points.
2002: Second season with Telefonica Movistar Junior Team.
Final Championship position: 3rd with 243 points - 3 wins: Netherlands, Pacific, and Valencia.
2003: Wins his first 125cc World Championship for the Telefonica Movistar Junior Team.
Championship position: 1st with 223 points. 5 wins: South Africa, France, Catalunya, Czech Republic and Malaysia.
2004: Wins his first 250cc World Championship for the Telefonica Movistar Honda 250.
Championship position: 1st with 292 points after 15 of 16 rounds. 5 wins: South Africa, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and Malaysia.
Other facts about Pedrosa's career
- At the age of 19 years and 18 days old, Pedrosa is the youngest ever rider to win the 250cc World Championship, taking the record from Marco Melandri by over a year.
- Pedrosa's victory in the opening round at South Africa made him the youngest rider ever to win a 250cc Grand Prix , taking this honour from Britain's Alan Carter in 1983, and the youngest ever rider to take victory in two different classes.
- The only races where Pedrosa has not finished on the podium this season are at the second round in Spain, when he fell in the wet conditions, and Portugal where he suffered a puncture in the rear tyre and Australia where he finished fourth.
- Pedrosa becomes the first rider to win the 125cc title and then the 250cc title in consecutive years since Carlo Ubbiali in 1960.