Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) has announced he'll be retiring at the end of 2018, after a stunning career spanning 18 seasons and a whole lot of history made. To celebrate the career of the 'Little Samurai', here are ten of his best races - from 2001 to now, via records and injuries and everything in between.
The best of one of the best:
Valencia 2012: His seventh win of a season that saw him so close to the crown, Pedrosa was unstoppable in mixed conditions in Valencia – taking the win ahead of Katsuyuki Nakasuga in second and the retiring Casey Stoner in third.
Jerez 2006: The season opener in 2006 was Pedrosa’s first MotoGP™ podium and his first race in the premier class, won by Loris Capirossi but protagonised by both men, as well as Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden.
Welkom 2004: Six months after a bad accident at Phillip Island just days after taking the 125 crown, Pedrosa returned to competition in South Africa but as a 250 rookie. He became the youngest winner in the class that day, at just 18 years, seven months and 11 days old – starting his title campaign off in style and going on to win the crown.
Sepang 2003: Crowned 125 World Champion in Malaysia after a stunning season, Pedrosa took the title in style as he took his fifth win of the year ahead of Mika Kallio and Jorge Lorenzo.
Phillip Island 2005: After winning the 250 title as a rookie the year before, Pedrosa made it back-to-back in the Australian GP as he dueled Sebastian Porto – and won by a tiny margin to secure the crown.
Assen 2002: The first win! Only 16 years old, Pedrosa’s first Grand Prix victory came at Assen in his sophomore season in the 125 World Championship – seconds clear by the flag.
Phillip Island 2004: Sebastian Porto was the race winner but Pedrosa the title winner Down Under in 2004. The Spaniard took fourth and it was enough to see him crowned 250 Champion – as a rookie.
Shanghai 2006: Fighting off teammate and eventual World Champion Nicky Hayden during the Chinese GP, Pedrosa took his first premier class win in only his fourth race in MotoGP™.
Motegi 2015: After career-saving surgery to begin the season, Pedrosa was back on the grid and back to full strength come the latter part of the year – proving that to perfection in the Japanese GP as he took the win in mixed conditions and sliced past Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
Suzuka 2001: The Japanese GP at Suzuka saw Pedrosa make his debut after coming from the CEV and the Movistar Activa Cup – tipped for great things and going on to fulfill them.