|Dani had a lonely end to the race after dropping off from the fight
Photo: Repsol Honda
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa struggled to stay with the leaders at the MotoGP season opener in Qatar this weekend.
He started off the weekend slowly, failing to make it into the top five in combined free practise but then picked up the pace in qualifying. He started the first race of the year in third, on the front row.
The Spaniard got his usual strong start and was up with race leader Jorge Lorenzo in the first corner. He only dropped down into third on the 17th lap of 24, until eventually dropping off from the fight for second on the 20th lap.
Dani crossed the line in fourth position, 9.4 seconds off race winner Jorge Lorenzo, and said “Today’s race was good, in part. I rode strongly and at a good level, although I had to slide around a lot during the entire race to combat a lack of rear grip. I saw from the opening lap that Lorenzo was going much faster and I tried to keep my position, because I knew that on the corners the traction issue came into play. I tried as hard as I could to keep my position, but then Rossi came through at a blistering pace and, to tell the truth, I couldn’t stop him -he went straight through. I did all that I could, but it wasn’t enough. Maybe there was a setup issue with the rear, because I had problems with it all weekend and we didn’t have enough grip tonight. I was off the podium in the end, which is a shame considering we had some good pre-season tests and that the setup was good in those. For some reason, it just didn’t work for us tonight