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Top of the podium is Pedrosa’s Sepang aim

Top of the podium is Pedrosa’s Sepang aim

A first MotoGP win at the Sepang circuit is Dani Pedrosa’s target this weekend, as he seeks to regain third place in the championship standings.

Progressive moves up the podium at Sepang have seen Dani Pedrosa edge closer to a victory at the Malaysian circuit in his three previous seasons in the premier class. Now the Repsol Honda rider is targeting his first MotoGP win at the track as he bids to increase the pressure on Casey Stoner in the World Championship.

Pedrosa has tasted victory at the track in both the 125cc and 250cc classes, and in his three seasons in the top flight two third-placed finishes and second last year are as close as he has come to winning at Sepang.

With just six points separating himself and third-placed Ducati Marlboro man Stoner in the overall standings, a second win of the 2009 season at this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix would maintain the battle in the championship.

“Sepang is a good circuit and I always look forward to this race,” said Pedrosa. “I’ve won here previously with Honda in the 125 and 250 classes, and I’d really like to add a MotoGP win to those victories. It could be tough because we know how fast our rivals have been recently, but still, the win is what we’ll be aiming for as always – and also to challenge Casey for third in the championship.”

Pedrosa, who finished third at Phillip Island last weekend, continued, “The track has a fast and challenging layout – plus the hot, humid conditions we encounter here always mean this is a physically demanding race for the riders, although we’re well prepared for it. It will certainly be a big contrast to the cold weather conditions we rode in at Phillip Island last weekend. At the moment we are looking to improve the stability of our machine and it’s important that from the first moments of practice we use all the preparation time available to us to arrive in the best possible shape for this race.”

Andrea Dovizioso sits directly below his team-mate in the championship, and he celebrated his first MotoGP podium at Sepang in his rookie season last year.

“I really look forward to racing in Malaysia as this is my favourite track and I have good memories there,” said the Italian. “Last year I had a strong race at Sepang and scored my first podium in MotoGP on the RC212V for the Scot Honda team. I’m also confident about this weekend because, during the last part of the race in Australia, my feeling with the bike improved a lot, and if we make a good start in practice on Friday I think we can go on to be competitive in the race.”

MotoGP, 2009, SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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