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5 reasons why Dani Pedrosa is one of a kind

© GEPA/Red Bull Content Pool
Written by Abel Cruz
With the Spanish MotoGP great announcing his retirement we pay tribute to one of the sport's finest riders.
After 18 years of competing at the top, MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa has announced the he will be retiring at the end of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship. The Spanish rider will leave a huge gap in the sport. Here are five reasons why the sport will miss him.

1. He's the king of the starts

It’s always been one of his secret weapons. Dani has always been one of the fastest out of the blocks in MotoGP. Take his impressive start at the 2010 Qatar Grand Prix. After starting back in eighth on the grid, the Spaniard was first at the first turn. Impressive, right?
A photo of Dani Pedrosa at the Qatar MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa leads the pack at the 2008 Qatar Grand Prix
Dani made his MotoGP debut in 2006. At that time, Honda had a V5 engine that made starts tricky – especially for a short rider like Dani. A couple of years later, the electronics improved dramatically and Dani began to make his famous lightning starts.
In 36 starts since the 2008 Qatar Grand Prix, Dani lost positions only twice but gained a huge 83 positions.
A photo of Dani Pedrosa winning a MotoGP race in 2009.
Dani Pedrosa claims a famous win at Laguna Seca in 2009

2. He's battled on through one injury after another

Dani Pedrosa has had bad luck with injuries. Often, crashes would end with him sustaining a fracture. His worst year was in 2015. Dani was one of the favourites for the title but after finishing sixth in Qatar he announced his temporary retirement from MotoGP due to carpal tunnel syndrome on his right forearm. He had a successful operation but missed three races.
He made his comeback in France, finishing outside the points, but in his next race, in Barcelona, he finished on the podium. He finished that season with victories in Japan and Malaysia. Even after missing three races, Dani finished fourth in the Championship. Another fine example of his diehard attitude.
A photo of Dani Pedrosa at the 2015 Japanese MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa on the way to victory in Japan in 2015

3. Since 2002, he's won at least once every season

Not many riders can say the same thing. He might have won only once in 2014, 2016 and 2017, but Dani has won a grand prix every year across 16 consecutive seasons. Incredible.
A photo of Dani Pedrosa starting out in the 125cc in 2002.
Dani Pedrosa wins for the first time, in Holland, in 2002
He’s won on all kind of circuits: Assen, Le Mans, Barcelona, Sachsenring, Silverstone, Brno, Jerez, Laguna Seca, Indianapolis, San Marino, Mugello, Valencia, Malaysia, Shanghai, Aragón, Estoril and South Africa. Dani currently has 54 victories, 99 podium places, 50 poles and 64 fastest laps to his name.
Dani Pedrosa has won at least once every season.
Last victory, Valencia 2017

4. He's one of MotoGP's most loyal riders

In 2001, Dani made his World Championship debut – and ever since then he’s been on a Honda. He has received plenty of offers from other manufacturers but has always been faithful to the big H.
A photo of Dani Pedrosa notching his first top 10 place in Spain in 2001.
Dani Pedrosa in Spain, 2001
Prior to the 2018 Catalan Grand Prix, Dani had completed 283 races in the World Championship – always on a Honda. In 2004 and 2005, he won the 250cc world title before adapting in 2007 when the class changed from 990cc to 800cc.
Dani has fought against great rivals from different generations, including Nicky Hayden, Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Ben Spies, Max Biaggi. And he has beaten them all while riding a Honda. They make a dream team.
A photo of MotoGP rivals and team-mates Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden.
Dany Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden

5. He knows how to relax

To race 18 years in MotoGP is no walk in the park. The physical and mental stress of travelling, racing, recovering from injuries, conducting endless interviews and taking part in promotional events takes its toll. It’s necessary, then, to relax from time to time.
The three videos below prove Dani knows how to have fun. The first is from the Faster clip he filmed with Márquez.
In the second, Dani takes part in the 2015 Red Bull Alpenbrevet on a moped.
In the third, Dani and Jorge Prado take part in the 2015 Red Bull Soapbox in Barcelona. Dani decided to steer the car while Jorge took care of the braking. Maybe they should have swapped roles!
After 18 years, almost 300 races, three world titles and many, many victories, Dani Pedrosa’s career is coming to an end. MotoGP will miss him dearly.
Dani Pedrosa will be missed for all fans!
Dani, thank you!
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