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With his future secure for another two years, Dani Pedrosa arrives in Mugello with a mind focused entirely on racing.
The paddock had been flooded with rumours about who was going where after Jorge Lorenzo announced his departure from Yamaha for Ducati early in the 2016 season. Dani Pedrosa’s name had been initially linked with a shock move to Yamaha, but ahead of the Italian GP official word was released that the Repsol Honda Team and Dani Pedrosa would continue their long and illustrious partnership until the end of 2018. With his future safe, the Spaniard can focus on racing once more and continue putting all his efforts into improving both himself and the Honda RC213V. It hasn’t been the easiest season for any of the Honda riders, but work continues and steps forward are being made with each and every session.
The Italian GP will be Pedrosa’s 250th Grand Prix start, fifteen years after his racing debut in 2001 in Suzuka on a Honda RS125R. Across his 250 starts he has achieved a total of 142 podiums, 51 of which were victories and three world titles between 2003 and 2005. Can he make it 52 wins at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM come Sunday? Victory would be ideal for Pedrosa who has so far taken only a single podium in the first five races of 2016 and is just four points clear of Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in the World Championship standings. 2010 was Pedrosa's last win in Mugello, taking two second and two fourth place finishes afterwards.
Dani Pedrosa: “I’m very happy to arrive at the Italian GP having already renewed with Honda and aware I will be able to keep working with a team I know and trust. With our future well lined up we’ll be totally free to just focus on the work to do on track. Mugello has a very fast and flowing layout with many long corners so finding a good setup and a good grip will be crucial. So far my overall pace in races has been better than it could be expected from practices, in le Mans at least it was so in the second part of the race, so I’m hoping to start strong from Friday and to keep improving over the weekend. I’ll try to do better Saturday in qualifying and to get a better grid position so be closer to the front and not remaining stuck in the first part of the race."
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