On the 12th of July 2018, Dani Pedrosa confirmed his retirement from MotoGP. The Honda man has had a great career on the world stage from 2001 to the present day. I take a look back at the highs and lows of his career.
Pedrosa came onto the world stage in 2001 in the 125cc championship and bagged a few podiums in his rookie season. In 2003, he won the 125cc championship with two races to go. But, a week after winning the championship, Pedrosa broke both ankles in a crash at Philip Island which ended his season early.
In 2004, Pedrosa moved up to the 250cc championship after his successful 125cc title. During the off-season, Pedrosa had to rest both his ankles which meant he didn’t have a proper test on the new bike and was thrown into the deep end on a new bike he had never ridden before.
Despite this, Pedrosa won the first round of the 2004 season and went on to win seven races and got 13 podiums which helped him clinch the 250cc title. Pedrosa continued in the championship for one more season where he won the title again. Even though he sustained a shoulder at the Japanese Grand Prix he won eight races and was on 14 podiums.
In 2006, Pedrosa moved up to the top class of MotoGP. There was concern for how the tiny 1.58m stature of Pedrosa would handle a MotoGP bike. However, in his first ever race in MotoGP at Jerez he finished second. He won his first race at the fourth round at the Chinese Grand Prix which meant he was the second youngest ever winner of a MotoGP race behind Freddie Spencer.
He then won his second race at Donnington Park which put him in contention for the title in his rookie season. However, injury and struggles with the bike meant Pedrosa finished fifth overall in the championship. He won Rookie of the Year and also beat 250cc title rival Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa continued his partnership with Repsol Honda and finished second in the MotoGP championship in 2007 behind Stoner and in 2010 behind Jorge Lorenzo.
In 2012, Pedrosa remained in the Repsol Honda team with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. The Spaniard finished on the podium six times in the opening seven races and again, was looking like a serious contender for the title that year. However, he was unlucky throughout the season and lost ground to his championship rival Lorenzo. Pedrosa again finished second in the championship with 332 points which was the highest ever points scored without winning the title.
From 2013 to the present day, Pedrosa has been in a team with Marc Marquez who has won four MotoGP World Championships since coming into the championship five years ago which is hard to compete with. But, Pedrosa has scored many podiums up to the current season.
However, we are yet to see him on the podium in 2018.
Dani Pedrosa was the poster boy of Spanish riders in MotoGP and it’s no wonder all young Spanish riders looked up to him as a role model whilst coming through the ranks. His racing career has lasted 17 years, and he’s won 31 MotoGP races and stood on 112 podiums. His career has gone a bit under the radar but we should all appreciate this amazing sportsman’s achievements.