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Dani Pedrosa salvages a top five finish at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar after a mistake early in the race sees him lose contact.
Opting for the soft rear tyre, Dani Pedrosa had an initial strong start to the 2016 Qatar GP that saw him up in third as riders launched from the line. Unfortunately for the Repsol Honda Team rider, a mistake at Turn 1 saw him run wide and drop down to sixth. The Spaniard lost contact with the leading group but he had Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) for company throughout the race. The pair battled for several laps and Pedrosa was able to get the upper hand, finishing the first MotoGP™ World Championship race of the year in fifth but a disappointing 14 seconds back on the race winner.
A top five finish is a decent result given the difficulties Pedrosa and his team were having in both testing and at the start of the race weekend, but Pedrosa himself admitted his pace was simply not good enough. From here the MotoGP™ veteran is hopeful of learning from this race and improving his Honda RC213V in the coming rounds. Unlike 2015, Pedrosa experienced no physical problems and is pleased to at least be starting the season fit.
Dani Pedrosa: “It was a difficult race. I started well but I ran wide at the first corner. Nevertheless, I was only down in fifth or sixth place, which was a good position from which to follow the lead group, but my pace was not good enough and gradually I lost touch. The negative side to this race is the result and the distance from the winner, but the positive is that I learned more about the bike and maybe we can improve for the next race. Physically, I also held up very well. We knew that this was a difficult track for us, but now we must look ahead to Argentina.”