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Repsol Honda double act on the podium

Repsol Honda double act on the podium

Repsol Honda double act on the podium

The Repsol Honda Team made an excellent start to the new season at the Jerez circuit with both riders finishing the first race on the podium. New signing Dani Pedrosa scored a sensational second place in his first MotoGP race while Nicky Hayden battled to a well-deserved third. MotoGP teams continue working today at the Andalusian track with a single test session before starting to prepare the next stop in the calendar, the Commercialbank GP of Qatar.

Pedrosa amazed the world of Grand Prix racing and delighted his thousands of home fans with his debut performance. From fifth on the grid the 20-year-old Spaniard dropped to seventh at the start before beginning an impressively controlled climb through the field.

By lap sixteen of the 27-lap race he had caught the leader, Loris Capirossi, and for a while it looked as though the reigning 250cc World Champion might challenge for the win, a feat which would have made him the youngest ever winner of motorcycling's top class. But as tiredness inevitably set in, the canny youngster displayed wisdom beyond his years, settling for second place, 4.3s behind the Ducati of Loris Capirossi.

`To start like this is amazing for me! I want to thank my team because they have worked really hard all this weekend and during the winter. And also a big thank you to Michelin because they gave us really good tyres. The race was difficult for me because at the end I was really tired and the tyre was spinning and sliding, so I think this result is very good. I didn't get a good start and I had to pass many riders, which took a long time. Loris was already gone, so I had to catch him up and when I did I was already tired. I wasn't really dreaming of the race win because I knew he was saving his tyres. He pushed hard at the end of the race and my front tyre was sliding a little bit. I was not too confident, so I had to give up because I prefered to finish the race. I'm very happy with the result today´.

American Nicky Hayden brought his Repsol Honda home in a well-deserved third place as the 24-year-old from Owensboro, Kentucky, fought to keep ahead of Toni Elias in the closing laps. Riding the new-for-2006 RC211V that the team has been working so hard to develop over the winter, Hayden crossed the line just 0.139 ahead of Elias, also on a Honda, to take the third place.

"It wasn't pretty with a few guys dropping out, but nonetheless we'll take the 16 points and the podium. Last year I crashed out so it's nice to get off and running with some momentum. We were testing here two weeks ago and at that point we didn't have a chance. But we've made a big step, so thanks to the team and Honda and all my guys who worked really hard this winter. And thanks to Repsol and Michelin too because my tyres were actually really good ´ said Hayden.

MotoGP, 2006, GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA, Repsol Honda Team

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