Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol MotoGP Team, GP of Catalunya – Monday, June 15th 2015
Dani Pedrosa returns to the podium whilst Marc Marquez crashes out
Dani Pedrosa makes great comeback from eleventh to place third in Catalan GP. A mistake on Lap 3 ends Marc Marquez’ race when he was riding in second.
Dani Pedrosa took his first podium of the season at the Catalan GP, marking his first appearance on the rostrum following surgery earlier this year. Fellow Repsol Honda Team rider Marc Marquez made a great start to the race, but crashed out on Lap 3 when riding in second place.
Marquez slotted into third place off the line, behind Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. He would overtake the latter before the end of the first lap, and stuck to Lorenzo’s rear wheel as he looked to keep up with his rival. However, the Repsol Honda rider made a mistake under braking on the back straight of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and crashed out, just three laps into the contest.
Starting from sixth position, Dani Pedrosa did not get a good start and down in eleventh position midway through the opening lap. Before the end of the lap he had regained a place, moving up a further two positions by Lap 3. With Marquez‘ crash he went into seventh, then ascended to a podium spot within the next four laps. Although unable to catch the leading duo, Pedrosa kept a steady pace and placed on the podium for the first time this season.
With this result, Marquez lies fifth in the overall standings with 69 points. He is 69 points behind series leader Valentino Rossi. Dani Pedrosa is tenth with 39 points. The World Championship travels to Assen for the next round, which takes place in a fortnight’s time.
“I’m happy and overwhelmed with emotion! It’s been a tough time and I’ve been fighting so hard, but finally I feel fit again and stronger with every race. Today I had a bad start and I tried not to be nervous, because I knew that the race was very long. There were many crashes at the start and I saw that the track was in a delicate condition, so I took it easy for the first three laps to find a reference for each corner. Then I started to progress quite quickly, I overtook several riders, and I finished third. It was impossible to follow Jorge and Valentino, because they were far ahead in terms of performance. We will try to pull back the gap a little for the coming races and see if in testing tomorrow we can find something positive – and understand the situation better. I want to thank all the people who have stood by me: my physiotherapist, my family and friends, Dr. Villamor, Jordi Salo and everyone else who has been supporting me. I also want to thank the fans who have sent me messages of encouragement. It has been a long time, but fortunately today at home I was able to recapture the excitement with this podium. I am very grateful to everyone, especially my team, after backing me during this difficult time, they deserve a little happiness!”
“I tried to give 100% at my home race but I made a mistake trying to push too much, as I wanted to do well – at all costs – and these things can happen. I was going well, trying to conserve my tyres behind Jorge, but I made a mistake and as a result I ran wide. When I was in the gravel I saw the wall was very close, so I leaned over a little but I couldn’t stop the bike. I was able to ride back to the garage, but I soon realised the gear lever was damaged and I was unable to shift gears. I want to thank the fans who came out today; the best thing about the day was hearing the cheers from them during the three laps I rode.”