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Pedrosa takes away maiden MotoGP victory in China

Pedrosa takes away maiden MotoGP victory in China

Pedrosa takes away maiden MotoGP victory in China

Dani Pedrosa took away his first MotoGP victory today at the Shanghai Circuit, confirming his status as a serious title contender in his debut season. The Repsol Honda rider, who started from pole, came back from a quiet start to lead the entire second half of the race ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden. Colin Edwards put himself on the podium for the first time this season whilst fellow Camel Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi saw his spectacular fightback through the field cut short by a tyre problem.

Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins started the Polini Grand Prix of China fantastically, following Edwards' holeshot and keeping up with the Texan Tornado for the opening laps. His bike, tyres and nerve held out for fourth place, his highest of the season.

Casey Stoner, who dropped down to tenth at one point after going slightly offroad, made his way back up to fifth to continue his run of top six positions.

The most entertaining rider of the day was undoubtedly Konica Minolta Honda's Makoto Tamada. A superb battle between the Japanese rider and the Ducati Marlboro duo of Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau had the Asian crowd on the edge of their seats, as he repeatedly looked inside on the corners. A well deserved sixth place came at the expense of Marco Melandri, with Capirossi, Gibernau and Shinya Nakano behind him.

Rossi's exit from the race came after his second trip to the pits. The reigning World Champion entered the box on lap fifteen, but completed only one lap more before having to retire. Australian Chris Vermeulen was the only other retiree, crashing out early.

Victory for a clearly delighted Pedrosa puts him up to third in the overall classification, with Hayden extending his lead to thirteen points over Loris Capirossi. He also heads the BMW M Award, with an advantage of 1.463 over Colin Edwards and Chris Vermeulen over a second off in third.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, POLINI GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, RAC

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