The 2009 MotoGP season ended with Dani Pedrosa winning the Grand Prix of Valencia and a possible sneak preview at a powerful American trio in the premier class in 2010.
Pedrosa led from start to finish on his Repsol Honda in the 30-lap race Nov. 8 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit after pole sitter Casey Stoner crashed out of the event during the warm-up lap on his Ducati. Spaniard Pedrosa controlled the gap to second place Valentino Rossi in the closing laps despite strong winds, holding off 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Rossi by 2.630 seconds for the home victory.
Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa won the pole Aug. 29 for the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a MotoGP track-record lap of 1 minute, 39.730 seconds.
Pedrosa, a 23-year-old native of Barcelona, Spain, maintained a narrow lead over second-place qualifier Jorge Lorenzo until he pulled off his record lap on his 28th of 30 total laps in the qualifying session.
Racing starts at noon (ET) Sunday at IMS, with the MotoGP race at 3 p.m. Morning warm-ups in all three classes – MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc – start at 9:40 a.m.
Pedrosa looked quick in the morning practice and finished in a close second place, just 0.131s from the fastest time. He was quickest early in the afternoon session, setting a best lap of 1’56.528s, well inside the circuit race lap record. Traffic in the final moments of qualifying apparently prevented Pedrosa from challenging for pole position, but the Spaniard was satisfied to get on the front row and give himself an excellent chance of a clean getaway tomorrow.
Dani Pedrosa Speaks… (Position: 3rd)
The 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship participants arrived at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany on Thursday, ahead of the ninth race weekend of the year, with the premier class riders returning to Europe after their visit to California less than two weeks ago.
In the official Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland press conference World Champion and standings leader Valentino Rossi was the first man to speak, as he, Dani Pedrosa, Chris Vermeulen, Nicky Hayden and Mika Kallio evaluated their 2009 experiences to date and offered their views on riding at the German venue.
Qualifying on the second row of the grid for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Dani Pedrosa is looking to make some small improvements to challenge the front line starters. The Repsol Honda rider is targetting a three-tenths of a second drop on his practice times in order to find the ideal race pace on Sunday.
4th – Dani Pedrosa Speaks…
Returning to the front row after two races away, Dani Pedrosa took advantage of having this year’s Assen poleman in front of him to grab second on the grid in qualifying. The Repsol Honda rider is looking to end a year-long win drought for both himself and Honda on Saturday, and is feeling much more capable of the task than at his recent home round in Barcelona.
2nd – Dani Pedrosa Speaks…
Dani Pedrosa had little time to recover from a hip injury ahead of his home round in Barcelona last time out, and suffered discomfort throughout the race weekend which he had felt obliged to attend in order to keep up with the MotoGP series leaders. The Spaniard has had more time to recover for the Alice TT Assen, with the idea being to ride in the Netherlands without the aid of painkillers.
Dani Pedrosa Speaks…
After two consecutive flag-to-flag races for the first time ever in MotoGP, blazing sunshine was a welcome relief for the FIM World Championship paddock as they gathered at Montmeló on Thursday for the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya build-up.
Basking in both the sun and the glory of his favourite football team’s recent success, Jorge Lorenzo provided the first media event of the day with the unveiling of a special livery and helmet. The only Spaniard in MotoGP not to hail from the Barcelona area, Lorenzo is nonetheless a big fan of the city’s football club, and showed off the F.C.
Dani Pedrosa has confirmed his ride at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, less than two weeks after suffering a minor fracture to his right femur. The Spaniard undertook a final check-up at Barcelona’s Dexeus facility on Tuesday, with Doctors Xavier Mir and Manel Ribas giving him the all-clear to ride.
The participation of the 2008 race winner was never in serious doubt, based on his past record of riding around injuries, the closeness of the title chase in front of him and the fact that the weekend’s race is one of his best chances of taking a first victory of the season.
Dani Pedrosa will aim to perfect the setting of his RC212V on Saturday at the Grand Prix de France as his improving knee allows him to ride with less discomfort. The Spanish rider will attempt to repeat his 2008 Le Mans pole position on Saturday and continue his current good form.
5th – Dani Pedrosa Speaks…
Honda’s factory pairing of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso arrive at round four in a confident mood, following the former’s surge in form at the last two races.
Pedrosa is still fighting back from injury following winter crashes and surgeries, but his excellent efforts at Motegi and Jerez saw him cause a surprise with back to back podiums, giving motivation to Dovizioso as the two riders simultaneously try to improve the RC212V Honda race package.
Spanish sports fans were always going to be split down the middle this weekend, on the occasion of the latest edition of ‘El Clasico’ -the football derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid that customarily dominates the attentions of the national press.
The biggest all-Spanish clash on Sunday, however, is expected to take place at the front of the MotoGP race.
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Looking forward to the second round of the season in the pre-event press conference at Motegi on Thursday the 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner spoke of the track’s unknown quantities as he previewed the weekend’s action.