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MotoGP's finest debut

MotoGP's finest debut

MotoGP's finest debut

Dani Pedrosa's second place in the GP de España was the best result for a rookie in MotoGP since the move to four stroke bikes.

The young Repsol Honda rider smashed the previous marker, Troy Bayliss' 2003 fifth place in Suzuka, in his home Grand Prix.

The great kick off by Pedrosa has raised yet more expectations for his first season amongst the stars of MotoGP. His second place in Jerez puts him amongst a series of greats in the world of motorcycle racing to scale the podium on their debut 500cc outings. Legends such as Giacomo Agostini in Nurburgring 1965, Barry Sheene's second place in Clermont-Ferrand in 1974 and Kenny Roberts, the American who took Europe by storm in his first Grand Prix when he finished second in Madrid.

Although Pedrosa's debut was undoubtedly spectacular, the premier class' finest first race has to be that of Jarno Saarinen, who won in Paul Ricard in 1973. In recent times, Max Biaggi equalled his feat with a 1998 Japanese Grand Prix win in Suzuka.

We accompany this text with a video of some of this race in the land of the rising sun, in which the reigning four times 250cc champion stepped up to 500cc with a victory. In this race, one of the big surprises was the third place of Noriyuki Haga, who was also a fresh face in the World Championship.


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