5 reasons why Dani Pedrosa is one of a kind
© GEPA/Red Bull Content Pool
With the Spanish MotoGP great announcing his retirement we pay tribute to one of the sport's finest riders.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.