Featured MotoGP – Pedrosa ends 18-year career 'Legend'

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
    Staff Member Premium

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    3
    The curtain has fallen on Dani Pedrosa’s MotoGP racing career.

    The Spaniard, a three-time World Champion, has been named a MotoGP™ Legend and was inducted into the MotoGP™ Legends Hall of Fame at the season finale at Valencia.

    Pedrosa won the 125 Championship in 2003, the 250 title in 2004 and 2005, and is one of the most successful riders of all time in the premier class. The Spaniard was inducted into the MotoGP™ Legends Hall of Fame at the season finale at Valencia.

    Pedrosa ends a highly successful 18-year GP career, all of it as a Honda rider, having achieved three World Titles (125 in 2003, 250 in 2004 and 2005) 49 poles, 54 wins, 153 podiums and 64 fastest laps out of 295 starts.

    Pedrosa is one of the best racers to have never won the championship, injuries taking their toll on his ability to make a sustained title charge. The Spaniard was never a prolific crasher, but when he did, he nearly always ended up injured, often seriously.

    Pedrosa has had 21 injuries during his time at the top, the most serious of which occurred at Motegi in 2010, in yet another crash caused by a mechanical error when a sticking throttle caused him to be thrown into the gravel at Turn 9, badly breaking his left collarbone in the incident. The surgery to plate that collarbone was as successful as it should have been, the plate and screws putting pressure on his subclavian artery, which supplies blood to the arms.

    In race conditions the plate was reducing blood flow to the arm leading to Pedrosa feeling he was losing strength in that arm, and unable to grip the handlebars successfully. The Spaniard struggled with that feeling for nearly six months, his doctors unable to pinpoint exactly what the problem was. It left him both physically and mentally drained, Pedrosa giving serious consideration to retiring unless a solution could be found. Once the issue with the plate was identified, he was able to have surgery to solve the problem, and get back to full fitness again.

    But the crash had also left him wary of surgery. When he was taken out by Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans the following year, Pedrosa deliberated for a long time before agreeing to surgery to plate the collarbone. It remained an issue for the Spaniard throughout his career, and in the end, pushed him towards retirement.

    It is hard to say whether Pedrosa’s diminutive size and weight played a factor in the severity of the injuries he has accumulated over the years, but it was always a question for debate.

    Pedrosa’s old team boss Livio Suppo is convinced that Pedrosa’s physical stature held him back, and that if he was just 10cm taller, he would have won the MotoGP crown at least four times. He said: “MotoGP is all about traction. Dani has the talent and riding skill, but if he was just 10cm taller, that would give him all the traction and grip he’d need to dominate the class. Of that I’m absolutely clear.”

    This theory is backed up by LCR rider Cal Crutchlow, who is convinced that Pedrosa would have won multiple title had he switched to Yamaha, a bike which is much less physically demanding to ride.

    Of course, Pedrosa also has the misfortune to have raced in the golden age of MotoGP, and his team-mates Casey Stoner and Marc Márquez are arguably the two most naturally talented riders to race in the championship with Stoner taking one title with Honda, and Márquez winning four of the five championships he has competed in.
     

Share This Page