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Pedrosa the history maker

Pedrosa the history maker

When the Repsol Honda team returns to European soil this weekend for the Alice Grand Prix de France it will be a landmark weekend for Dani Pedrosa, who is set to make his 100th Grand Prix start at Le Mans.

When the Repsol Honda team returns to European soil this weekend for the Alice Grand Prix de France it will be a landmark weekend for Dani Pedrosa, who is set to make his 100th Grand Prix start at Le Mans.

The fifth round of the 2007 World Championship season marks the beginning of an intense schedule of racing which sees seven Grands Prix taking place in the space of ten weeks, with the MotoGP paddock traveling to France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States in quick succession.

The coming weeks will therefore provide 21 year-old Spaniard Pedrosa with the opportunity to increase his Grand Prix appearances tally beyond the 100 mark whilst attempting to catch early World Championship leader Casey Stoner in the standings. Third placed Pedrosa sits 37 points behind Stoner and 22 points behind second placed Valentino Rossi after four races.

Looking ahead to France, Pedrosa commented: "Le Mans is a circuit where I've had some good races in previous years so I'm hoping this visit will be the same. Since it's the first time we will ride the new 800cc machines at Le Mans, our primary target will be to find the right way to set up the bike – especially the gearing because there are many sections of acceleration out of slow corners and it's very important to have the best possible drive at these points."

"Let's hope the weather stays clear and gives us enough dry track time to do this. The end result at the last race in China was not bad, but we'll really be looking to take another step forward in Le Mans and fight for the top positions. I was able to take pole position at Le Mans last year and then had a little tyre problem in the race and couldn't stay in the lead. However, I'm sure Michelin will be working very hard for their home race and I hope we can get a good result for them and the team."

Pedrosa has an excellent record at Le Mans. Last year he recorded his second pole position in successive races and became the youngest ever rider to secure back-to-back poles in the premier class of Grand Prix racing. The Spaniard won the 125cc race in 2003 at the famous French circuit and also took victory in the 250cc races in 2004 and 2005. He led the MotoGP race for three laps last year before the aforementioned tyre problem forced him to settle for third after a last-lap dice with Loris Capirossi.

Pedrosa made his World Championship debut in the 125cc class at the opening race of 2001 in Japan and has since missed starting at just two Grand Prix events. At the age of 21 years and 233 days, barring injury in France he will become the youngest ever rider to have competed in 100 Grand Prix races, taking the record from Marco Melandri - who was 22 years and 43 days old when he competed in his 100th event.

This continues Pedrosa's career of record breaking in the 99 races in which he has already competed. In 2004 Pedrosa at the age of 19 became the youngest ever rider to win the 250cc world title, again taking a record from Melandri who was 20 when he won the title in 2002. When the Spaniard retained the 250cc title at the age of 20, he become the youngest ever rider to take back-to-back titles in the 250cc class, taking the record from Max Biaggi who was 24 when he won his second 250cc title in 1995.

Having taken the 125cc crown in 2003, Pedrosa's second 250cc triumph therefore also made him the youngest ever rider to have won three world titles, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 22 when he won his third title.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Dani Pedrosa

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