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Friday, April 25 2014 @ 05:19 AM ICT

Pedrosa Wins, Marquez Second as Honda Dominates Jerez Rostrum

Motorcycle RacingDani Pedrosa claimed his first win of the season in confident style in blazing sunshine and in front of a huge crowd at Jerez today, making it two out of three so far this year for Honda, and reasserting himself in a World Championship battle that is already rich with tension.

With Texas winner Marc Marquez claiming a very hard-fought second place, it was the second race in succession that Honda took the top two positions.

Pedrosa took the lead from fellow-Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at the Dry Sack hairpin on the sixth of 27 laps, and was immediately able to secure a small but vital cushion, to win by 2.487 seconds. The last lap, he said, was particularly special, in front of 111,259 fervent Spanish fans.

He made it look easy, compared with his team-mate’s second place. Twenty-year-old Marquez had been fighting to find a way past Lorenzo mid-race and again in the closing laps. Every attack was repulsed, and when he did get in front the last time round Dry Sack, he directly ran wide, ceding the position once more.

The class rookie, who became the youngest-ever GP winner at Austin, Texas a fortnight before, wasn’t done yet.

At the final corner he saw a chink of space inside his rival, and dived straight into it. The pair touched, but Marquez had the inside line and was able to finish his corner, while Lorenzo was sent out wide, and had to accept third.

The same three riders were on the rostrum in Texas, with the order of the front two reversed.

Marquez’s third successive rostrum finish puts the youngster ahead at the top of the World Championship, with 61 points to Lorenzo’s 57; while Dani’s win moves him to second overall, one point clear of his Yamaha rival.

Conditions were hot and punishing, especially for the tyres, with all riders having to focus not only on racing their rivals but also trying to stay smooth, to avoid running out of grip in the closing laps. Pedrosa managed it best, able to run a fast but smooth pace, riding alone.

Dani Pedrosa

Repsol Honda: race winner
“It was a beautiful race. I was able to ride the bike well, even though it was difficult because the tyres were really on the limit. I couldn’t push too hard because of that, so I had to ride carefully. I was able to maintain a good advantage throughout the race and collect this win at home as a result. It was fantastic, especially seeing all the fans in the stands; this year we’ve had a lot of people come to watch this Grand Prix. I also want to say ‘Happy Mothers Day’ to my mum and thanks to all my team; it’s been a great day!”

Marc Marquez

Repsol Honda: 2nd
“It was a very good race. I gave 100 percent from the first lap through to the last. At some points in the race I felt better than at others, but I never gave up. I tried to stick as close as possible to Lorenzo, although it was very difficult. I couldn’t quite close the gap, but I didn’t let him get away either. It was a very hard race, because if you get one or two seconds difference between you, you relax a bit. I didn’t relax though, and I am very happy. I think that, above all, the end of the race was really good for the fans. I want to apologise to Jorge, because it was a racing incident – a last lap move that happens when you are on the limit. The most important thing is that we both finished the race, and I hope that that’s the end of it.”

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