Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of speculation over Dani Pedrosa’s future, today ahead of this weekends Grand Prix at Sachsenring he announced that this will be his final season in MotoGP after 12 years in the premier class with Repsol Honda.
Dani Pedrosa first came to the premier class in 2006 riding alongside that years World Champion Nicky Hayden, the most memorable moment of Dani’s rookie campaign to many was of course the penultimate race in Estoril, when Dani spectacularly took out championship leader and team-mate Nicky Hayden putting Nicky on the back foot going into the last round in Valencia against of all people Valentino Rossi.
2007 saw Dani Pedrosa attempt to mount a title challenge, on-board a less than brilliant 800cc Honda RCV212V, 2007 turned out to potentially be one of the only years in Pedrosa’s 12 year stint that he hadn’t picked and injury in season, although like the previous year he managed to pick up 2 wins this was not good enough to take the title as he finished 2nd to a dominant Casey Stoner.
2008 again saw Pedrosa take another 2 wins with 11 podiums in total, which is pretty incredible when you consider he picked up injuries in the pre-season test in Sepang, he then had a horrifying crash in turn 1 at Sachsenring that caused multiple injuries, and injured himself again at Phillip Island, yet he eventually hauled his Repsol Honda to 3rd place in the championship behind Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.
2009 again Dani picked up 3rd in the Championship with again 2 wins and 11 podiums in total, and again the young Spaniard picked up injuries in testing at Qatar loosing feeling in his left knee and fracturing his left wrist.
In 2010 we saw battle of the Spaniards after Valentino Rossi broke hearts in Mugello after breaking his leg, this left Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo slug it out for the tittle, but 4 wins and 9 podiums in total wasn’t enough for Dani to take the title as he sadly fractured his left collarbone during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix ruling him out of contention with just 3 races left of the season.
2011 saw Pedrosa struggle despite picking up 3 wins and a total of 9 podiums, this was only good enough for 4th in the championship whilst his Repsol team made a dominant show of the 2011 World Championship.
In 2012 MotoGP had a rule shake-up which saw the bikes go from the smaller 800cc bikes to the bigger 1000cc bikes and boy did Dani fly, he took 7 wins with 12 podiums as he fought 2010 and career long rival Jorge Lorenzo, however despite not picking up an injury Dani’s luck hadn’t changed, he qualified on pole at Misano but technical issues on the grid meant he had to start from the back of the grid, however coming into turn 6 on lap 1 he was taken out by Hector Barbera, this gave Jorge Lorenzo the advantage he needed to take the title again Dani took 2nd in the championship.
Who can forget 2013 when rookie sensation Marc Marquez entered the Repsol Honda camp after Casey Stoner retired in 2012? Nope. Neither can we, Marquez came in and completely changed the style of riding for MotoGP and riders such as Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha refugee Valentino Rossi and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo had to adjust their styles and quickly, Dani Pedrosa took 3 wins with 13 podiums but again collected more injuries, he fractured his left collar-bone in free practice at Sachsenring again at turn 1 where he fell in 2008 he took 3rd in the championship.
2014, 2015 and 2016 he took a subdued 4th place as the Honda started to become more of a hand full, 2016 was certainly more notable as the Pedrosa seemed to struggle with the switch to the Michelin tires which need more warm up, and with Pedrosa being such a small and light frame the petite Spaniard struggles to get heat in the tyre in cooler conditions.
2017 we saw some of the “old” Pedrosa with a brilliant light to flag victory in Jerez and an excellent win against Johann Zarco in Valencia but ultimately only finishing the year 6th.
This season Dani Perosa has had clear struggles and by his own admission he has admitted his head is thinking about off track issues more than whats happening on track, after news broke that he would be dropped by HRC and replace by long term rival Jorge Lorenzo, Dani has been linked with a move to the new Petronas Yamaha operation for 2019 however as he announced today he will not be continuing to race in 2019, everyone at Now Moto wishes Dani all the best for his future adventures and we can certainly say the paddock wont be the same without him.
As we stated earlier in the article Dani Pedrosa has been plagued with injury, recently British broadcaster BT Sport showed viewers a list of Dani’s injures, as seen below.
Featured Image Credit: Motogp.com riders gallery.