2013 MotoGP Title Chase
Since joining World Championship racing in 2001, Dani Pedrosa has only competed on only one make of machine – Honda. The Spaniard won three consecutive championships, taking a title in the former 125cc class in 2003, followed by two consecutive titles in the former 250cc class.
Pedrosa then joined the premier MotoGP Class in 2006, competing aboard the Repsol Honda. He finished fifth that year, and since has finished runner-up three years. But it’s as if a curse follows the 27-year-old Pedrosa, the RC213V not able to capture a title due to injuries throughout the seasons.
But this can possibly change in 2013 if Pedrosa keeps up his stellar performances. After winning the last two rounds of MotoGP at Le Mans and Jerez, Pedrosa holds the championship-point lead 83 points, six ahead of his teammate, the rookie Marc Marquez.
This is the first time Pedrosa led the championship points race in almost five years. And with his finishes so far this season (fourth at Qatar, second at Circuit of the Americas, wins at Jerez and Le Mans), he is the biggest threat to taking the title from Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.
MotoGP recently compiled some facts about Pedrosa and his title hunt:
- It was on July 13, 2008 that Pedrosa lost the championship lead, falling in the German rain and bouncing over the gravel trap. The accident lost him the race, resulted in all sorts of injuries and ruined the championship. It is perhaps ironic that the re-taking of the overall lead finally came in similarly wet conditions at Le Mans.
- Sunday’s success marked the Spaniard’s first premier class win in France, having been affected more often than not by injury over the past handful of seasons; at least he can now boast that he is yet to be operated on since June 2011. In fact, only three venues remain on the calendar at which Pedrosa is yet to claim a win in any of the three categories: Losail, Circuit of the Americas and Silverstone.
- Also at Le Mans, Pedrosa claimed his second consecutive race victory and his eighth from the last 12 MotoGP events. He has passed the 3,000-point mark; an amount bettered only in the famed careers of Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi.
- Win number 24 in the top class puts Pedrosa equal with both current title holder Jorge Lorenzo and three-time champion Wayne Rainey, while that trio are just one behind Rainey’s great rival and 1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz, who recently questioned the abilities of Pedrosa and his lack of a MotoGP title.
- Qualifying speed is certainly not in doubt; until Saturday, perhaps, when Pedrosa’s result of sixth marked the first time in 16 races that he had failed to start from the front row of the grid. Instead, he came from sixth – the lowest grid position he has ever converted into victory since joining the premier class. En route to his 47th MotoGP victory, he picked up his maiden fastest lap of 2013 (and his 36th since climbing to the top class seven years ago), his 115th career podium and his 74th in the uppermost tier, which takes him to five ahead of ex teammate Casey Stoner.
With 14 Grands Prix to go, the 2012 runner-up leads the way…will this be the year the Pedorsa curse is lifted?