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Pedrosa stars in unique air and ground duel

Pedrosa stars in unique air and ground duel

Spanish Red Bull Air Race pilot Alejandro Maclean had the chance to compare notes with compatriot Dani Pedrosa in Barcelona this week.

Ahead of the grand finale of the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship on 3-4 October in Barcelona, Red Bull Air Race pilot Alejandro Maclean and Dani Pedrosa got together for a chat. But words were not enough for the two Spanish stars as they ended up duelling each other in the air and on the ground.

Pedrosa came third in last year’s MotoGP World Championship and broke a world record earlier this year during free practice at Mugello when he hit a speed of 349.3km/h (217.1mph) – about the same pace that Red Bull Air Race pilots reach in their tracks flying just metres over the ground.

The Spanish rider, who has just celebrated his 24th birthday, will also be competing this weekend at Estoril in Portugal. Pedrosa was delighted to sample the high speed motorsport thrill of a different kind by first flying alongside Maclean in another race plane and then later racing against the Spanish Red Bull Air Race ace on his motorbike.

Pedrosa took off from the Red Bull Air Race Airport located in Sabadell, a town near Barcelona where he was born and grew up. He got a taste of air racing and high-G manoeuvres in a two-seater passenger plane flown by another Spaniard, Sergio Pla, while Maclean flew nearby in his MXS-R plane. They communicated via radio as Maclean talked Pedrosa through a few race manoeuvres.

Pedrosa admitted that he felt slightly queasy after the flight which included several loops and subjected him to forces reaching as high as 6G. “The G-force is really impressive,” said Pedrosa after the flight. “You really feel it in the pit of your stomach”.

But the action didn’t stop there. Immediately after landing, Pedrosa jumped out of the cockpit and on to his Honda MotoGP bike while Maclean stayed aloft. Pedrosa then went head-to-head against his country’s fastest pilot on Barcelona’s MotoGP race track at Montmelo in a unique bike vs. plane battle.

A straight section of the Montmelo circuit provided the 700 metre race track. It was a close race but Maclean’s plane which is capable of reaching speeds of over 400 km/h was declared the winner.

Both sportsmen wished each other luck in their respective races on the weekend and agreed that remaining focused is the key to success.

Maclean who has had some promising races this year and took a season-best 7th place among the 15 pilots at the last race in Porto, currently stands 12th in the championship.

Red Bull Air Race Press Release

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Dani Pedrosa

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