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It was an emotional, dominant and inch-perfect race for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) in the Spanish GP, as the 'Baby Samurai' converted pole into the holeshot and then gave a masterclass in handling pressure. Away at the start and managing the gap to perfection despite the searing track temperatures, the number 26 was unbreakable in the lead and eventually took the victory by over six seconds as teammate Marc Marquez settled for second.
The win makes it sixteen years in a row that the three-time title winner has taken a victory in the World Championship, and another podium keeps him equal third in the record books for all-time rostrum finishes - a record shared with great rival Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).
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Pedrosa talks about his victory and strategy at the #SpanishGP
Back on top to take his first win in Jerez since 2013, Pedrosa proved his incredible talent once again - and moved up to within ten points of the Championship lead held by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The Spaniard says he enjoyed the race more than ever - perfectly focused on the goal: winning.
Dani Pedrosa, P1: “It was a very nice race, I’m very happy…it wasn’t as easy as maybe it seems but I enjoyed it. At the beginning I was so focused and it was important to do a very focused race, in these kind of conditions the track wasn’t as grippy as in practice, maybe because of the temperature but I felt less grip, I was running the hard front like many riders…early I pulled a gap, then I tried to keep my pace under control. At some point Marc started to close a bit. At two or three corners the front was very critical and it was easy to make a mistake if I pushed too hard. I made some mistakes and at one point I think I was over the limit on the kerb, I lost maybe three tenths but I was lucky to come back. Very happy, the weekend was amazing in front of these amazing people. I like this track so much and I enjoyed the race a lot. I didn’t want the gap to be too big – I could have gone faster in the beginning but I didn’t want to push the tyre too push, Marc was on the hard tyre and I knew he would be strong towards the end. I’m happy to win this for my team, we’ve worked hard since winter testing…it’s all going positive, and after the last podium and now this win we just hope to continue in this line. It’s amazing today to pull out this win because our rivals weren’t as good – normally Yamaha are the favourites at this track, usually every year at least one is on the podium. So we got back some points we lost after the mistake in Argentina, and it’s more interesting for the Championship.”
Then asked about being a favourite, an outsider or neither, Pedrosa says it makes no odds to his odds - and that the victory tastes even sweeter because of it:
DP26: “I’m just happy because I’m much more conscious now. When I was younger it’s more unconscious and you don’t know why you’re so fast or so good, but as you get older you have to be more conscious of what’s happening and you are the one who has to make it happen more. It doesn’t come as easy. It’s much more fun now when things are happening…Whether I’m an outsider or a favourite doesn’t matter, because you’re focused on your goal. It’s not happening because people say something about you or don’t – it’s because you make it happen. And today is an amazing feeling because of that.”
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