Pedrosa wins big in Spain

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa scored a dominant victory in front of 131,000 sun-drenched fans at Jerez today, his team-mate Nicky Hayden running in the leading pack for much of the race to finish a strong fourth.

Pedrosa took over the lead from holeshot man Hayden at turn two and stayed out front for the rest of the 27 laps, setting a red-hot pace that put him and his Repsol Honda RC212V almost four seconds ahead at half distance. The Spaniard crossed the finish line 2.8 seconds in front of Valentino Rossi, having smashed both lap and race records. Pedrosa’s fifth premier-class success continues an amazing run of Jerez results, following runner-up finishes with Repsol Honda in the 2006 and 2007 MotoGP races and victory in the 2005 250 event aboard his Honda RS250. The 22-year-old received his winner’s trophy from King Juan Carlos, a keen motorcycle fan. Pedrosa’s latest Jerez success was a poignant moment for his mentor Alberto Puig who became the first Spaniard to win a premier-class GP when he won the 1995 Jerez event riding a Honda NSR500.

“This is my first MotoGP win at Jerez and I’m very happy about today’s performance because it comes after a difficult winter during which we couldn’t test so much after I crashed and broke my right hand in January. To score good results in two complicated races and lead the championship is very important. I got a good start, not spectacular like in Qatar, but effective, so I was able to take the lead. I did my best, I focused on not making mistakes and I was able to manage the race all the way to the finish and get a win in front of the Spanish fans. The crowd gave me incredible support, I hope they enjoyed the race, and it was an honor to get my trophy from the King. Today we are happy but we know that we have to keep working because Yamaha and Ducati are very competitive. We stay here for two days testing that will be crucial in helping us continue development of the RC212V in preparation for the next races."

Hayden’s hard-fought result proved that the 2006 World Champion is really building momentum after a tough weekend at the season-opening Qatar GP. Just a tenth off the front row in qualifying, Hayden got a storming start that gave him the chance to run with the leaders. He did just that and was very much in the hunt for a podium finish, chasing Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, until he had a close call at turn one with five laps to go.

Race Results
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 45'35.121
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 45'38.004 Ã- 2.883
3 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 45'39.460 Ã-4.339
4 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 45'45.263 Ã-10.142
5 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 46'02.645 Ã-27.524
6 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 46'02.929 Ã- 27.808
7 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 46'03.417 Ã-28.296
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP HONDA 46'03.570 Ã-28.449
9 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 46'07.690 Ã-32.569
10 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 46'10.212 Ã-35.091
11 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 46'17.344 Ã-42.223
12 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 46'19.619 Ã-44.498
13 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 46'20.928 Ã-45.807
14 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 46'20.992 Ã-45.871
15 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team DUCATI 46'44.679 Ã-1'09.558
16 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team DUCATI 46'49.563 Ã-1'14.442
Not Classified
5 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 9'10.348 144.661 22 laps
14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 3'31.127 150.836 25 laps

Circuit Length: 4423 m
Fastest Lap (new record) 2008: 1.40.116 Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
Circuit best lap 2008: 1.38.189 J.Lorenzo (Yamaha)

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