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Pedrosa has a difficult start to the season

Pedrosa has a difficult start to the season

Pedrosa has a difficult start to the season

Dani Pedrosa lost his leadership of the 2005 World Championship on Sunday when he finished in sixth place, several positions behind winner Casey Stoner and new championship leader Andrea Dovizioso.

Pedrosa arrived in China having finished the last 16 Grand Prix in the top four – including the win at Jerez in the first leg of the championship.

He took an early lead in the race but quickly realised that the sixth gear setting on his Honda was too short for the longest straight on the World Championship calendar, measuring 1,175 metres in length.

Pedrosa was holding his position in the second group along with De Puniet, De Angelis and Aoyama, but halfway through the race he began to suffer from the same problem that dogged his race in Portugal two weeks before, his visor steaming up and leaving him to concentrate on picking up as many points as possible.

Pedrosa now lies third in the championship, five points behind the new leader Andrea Dovizioso.

"I've always found it difficult to ride in the rain but I think sixth place is good for me; it's my best result in the wet. I tried as well as I could to follow the pace of the second group because Stoner and Dovizioso were really fast, but I had a gearbox problem.

Sixth gear was too short for this circuit and I was losing a lot of time in the straight but I didn't want to break the engine. Even though I was a bit behind at the end I spent the majority of the race lapping with riders who are good in the wet and that's positive for me."

With the competition getting tougher each week and rider like Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso looking like real contenders for the 2005 Championship, Pedrosa will have to turn his turn has bad streak around quickly and remember exactly what it was he did last year to overwhelming dominate the season.


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