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Will Dani Pedrosa Ever Win a MotoGP Championship?

Already a three-time World champion (once on 125s and twice in the 250 class), Dani Pedrosa was the young phenom and a shoe-in for multiple MotoGP championships when he was brought aboard the Repsol Honda team in 2006.  Although he has 15 MotoGP race wins to his credit, 20 poles and 60 podiums, he has never won a championship in the premier class.

A second place last week at Catalunya proves he still has good speed, but can he still win a MotoGP title?  The imminent retirement of Casey Stoner certainly helps, but Jorge Lorenzo looms as his biggest rival going forward.  Share your thoughts below.

55 Comments

  1. proheli says:

    Dani is a bona fide member of the Aliens. He may not be the fastest of the four at any given time, but he is one of the four. Its not the three aliens and Dani. Hes one of the 4 reasons GP racing has been so awesome this last decade. He may be 3rd fastest this year. And if anything happens to Lorenzo, he’ll prbably win next year.

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  2. Jeff says:

    I don’t think so, he’s too fragile and cannot escape injuries every year and they set him back for too long first Nicky and now Casey have beat him yet Honda holds on to Dani and lets Divizioso go?? I don’t get it, I think Sito Pons plays “stage dad” for him!

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  3. Curve Killa' says:

    Size has nothing to do with Dani not being popular in the U.S. Americans like champions and he hasn’t produced in the premier class. He’s on the best bike and Honda still had to sign Stoner to win them a championship. Sure, he can win races but can he put together a championship season. I don’t thinks so.

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  4. Smackwater says:

    Small size helps with acceleration. Samll size HURTS when braking because the back lifts more easily. Watch for this going in vs. coming out of corners and you’ll see the tradeoff.

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    • Dave says:

      Any weight hurts on the brakes but especially above the axle (like the rider)as this raises the CG. If the small guys are having a harder time keeping the back wheel down it’s only because they are getting more relative brake power from the overall lighter weight.

      If he were endo-ing and still being out braked by guys who weren’t then it would make more sense but I haven’t seen that be the case.

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  5. Paisanoracer says:

    Here’s the short answer: It’ll never happen. As has already been stated (and beaten to death) DP has demonstrated ZERO killer instinct. He wins when circumstances line up in his favor and not when he has to punch it out with an opponent. Next year will be very interesting. Dani’s proven since joining the Premier Class that he’s no closer. If Honda can snag JL, Bradl will probably get called up from LCR–leaving no room for our diminutive friend. That’s OK , he can always take up yacht racing…

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  6. Pedro J Diaz says:

    He is near the front b/c he gets great starts…b/c he weighs 30 # less than anyone else. I have noticed that when the Aliens fall behind due to a poor set up, and Pedrosa is alone in the front, he wins. If he is fighting a close 3 up front, towards the end of the race, he just loses spot after spot. Tires? riding style affects this, but being so light, it should help him. Nevertheless, he might need to change his style to save the tires. As someone mentioned, he may not have the killer instinct. What I see is that he gets a mental ‘deer in the headlights’ in the last part of the race and breaks under the pressure and the Aliens pass him. I agree his personality is not vibrant, and this might be a clue, he may be a humble man with some self doubts, like you and me, but to be a top champion, you need confidence to the point of intolerable arrogance. He doesn’t seem to have that. Lorenzo is generally disliked b/c he IS so self aggrandizing and arrogant, he does not turn that off when on the spotlight. Rossi does. But still, such confidence helps Jorge have THE most consistent lap times on just about every race. VLF ROSSI !!!

  7. wctriumph says:

    Nope, just can’t see it happening. Randy Mamola and John Kosinski come to mind.

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  8. RD350 says:

    These guys are almost all small and almost all have little or no personality (Americans included). Everyone of them, including Valentino, have made boneheaded moves and taken people out. Valentino’s supposedly great personality only stands out because in comparison to the rest of these sour pusses, he has the most glowing personality in the history of the world. Outside of this sport, would he really stand out as having a particularly special persona?

    Dani is easily one of the top 4 roadracers in the world. He wins races. He is always at the front. He is a factor in almost every race. And he goes to the front often riding with injuries that would have the rest of us in bed for a month. Yet, he is despised and dismissed here in America largely because he is small and appears very serious on television. And his English is not so good ..

    Also, he made a stupid pass on Nicky during his championship run in 2006 and took him out. For this crime, we can never forgive him.

    Please consider how absolutely ridiculous and juvenile this is.

    I say stop focusing on his size and his lack of clownishness and start appreciating the great talent that he is ..

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  9. Nomadak says:

    Pedrosa a MOTO GP champion? Not likely

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  10. Brian says:

    I think he still has the potential to win it all, but only if Lorenzo doesn’t land in Repsol Honda next year, then Dani will be booted out. He needs to be the #1 man on the team to get the preferential treatment. If they keep him and promote Bradl, then he will be the #1 for at least 1 more year. I’ve heard that if Lorenzo jumps ship, then Dani is out as they won’t keep 2 spaniards on the team. Where would he go? Ducati? That would be a classic pairing with Nicky again… and of course if Rossi ends up back with Yamaha, all bets are off.

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  11. JustLeanIt says:

    Of course he could win, if the universe aligns perfectly. Will he? I don’t think so.

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  12. ReflexTowing says:

    Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Poor little Dani.

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  13. mickey says:

    I predicted he’d win last year..I also predicted in 1975 that Gold Wings would never sell…so so much for my predictions.

    Pedrosa is a hell of a starter, and always runs near the front, however he is snake bit. Everytime he enters a season healthy someone takes him out and breaks something like a collarbone. Then he misses a couple races, is out of the chase, but finishes 3rd. Poor guy. I root for him and hope someday he can get it done, but even if he does people will always say it was because Stoner had quit, or Lorenzo was hurt. There will always be an caveat, an asterisk by his win. It won’t be good enought that he is a really talented rider, it will be cause somebody else messed up. It’s a shame.

    He has 5 times as many GP wins as ex champ Hayden.

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  14. Gary says:

    Is it a serious question? Of course he has a good chance. He has been the most consistent of the aliens this year, and he’s on the best bike. I still think Lorenzo or Stoner will take it, but it wouldn’t take much for Pedrosa to pull it off.

  15. butchy says:

    Interesting question. He’s always up front and Stoner will be gone next year. Why not? It surely is possible if Lorenzo gets hurt or crashes out a few races. Lorenzo is the best Spaniard by far and will be hard to beat in the foreseeable future. Go Nicky!

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  16. Vrooom says:

    I’m going to go against the grain and say it could happen. As the article states he’s on the podium all the time, and usually 2-3rd in the points. Doesn’t take too much bad luck on the part of a fellow alien to tip things in his direction.

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  17. Gutterslob says:

    Get Puig out of his life and he probably would win a championship.

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  18. Bigglen1 says:

    No. His boyish frame can’t support the muscle structure needed to be a champion in an adult sized sport. (Joking! Well, kind of.) ;p

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  19. Adam says:

    No, it’s Karma. Hayden placed a curse on him near the end of ’06 when pedrosa crashed him out(his own teamate… fighting for the Championschip!).

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  20. Woody says:

    No… he rides like he has little mans syndrome, because, well… he is in fact, a little man.

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  21. Marc says:

    Fully agree with Wendy, and as a Spaniard, I certainly like him more than Lorenzo and wish he would achieve it, but my natural answer to the question is NO. He lacks that special hunger and controled aggressivenes as well as the consistency and some fortune. It is either injuries, problems with the set-up, the tire and overall bad luck like last year when he was out on a long stint when finally he was getting a handle on the bike and having good results. Wish him the best and his personality has evolved and grown a little more outspoken as often in the past he was too safeguarded by his mentor Alberto Puig. he will not find a better and easier bike to ride/handle than what Honda/Repsol has given him over the last few years, so a change in bikes will not help.
    My 2 çents.
    Cheers

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  22. Tim says:

    I seriously doubt it. He makes too many poor decisions when riding, and as a result he lacks consistency, and you need to be consistent to win championships.

    Besides, karma has to be involved here. Honda had the reigning world champion and instead of building a bike to fit a taller Hayden, they built it taylored to Pedrosa. Who knows what Nicky could have accomplished if Honda had built a bike to fit him instead.

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    • MotoGraph says:

      totally agree.

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    • exR1 says:

      good point re Hayden!

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    • Dave says:

      Probably not much more. A big reason he won was because Rossi put himself at a big points deficit early on then crashed in the final race while in striking distance. The bike’s size was going to be the bike’s size. They don’t design them with individual men and their sizes in mind. They make them as small as the components will allow and adjust whatever they can to fit the rider.

      Nicky is 5’6″, (Dani is 5’2″) so he’s well within the size range of a motogp bike.

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    • RBen says:

      I have been saying this from the beginning.After Nicky had enough of Honda’s BS and poor decisions he left.Same kind of thing thy did to Rossi. We all have see how well Honda has done with Perderose.Perderose is just not a leader(in leading the race that is) Nicky still as that winning drive. And I do not bu leave Pederose has it. I still think to this day if Honda would have made there bike to fit Nicky Hayden better they would have won another championship or 2 even. MY 2 Cents

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  23. Paul says:

    He needs to talk to Randy Mamola, and ask about his next career move. I’m sure Randy could give some good advice.

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  24. Wendy says:

    no. He has suffered too many injuries, and for some reason hasn’t the “killer instinct” needed to close the deacon a championship. The subtle combination of man/machine that makes a champion hasn’t jelled in the Danibot. Too bad, too, since despite his obvious talent, he never got that combination right. A Randy Mamola without the personality.

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  25. Conor says:

    He has the talent and bike (right now) for sure. So much of a World Championship is luck. Lots of little things need to go just right.

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  26. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Today, it doesn’t look like it.
    If he were to make a change of teams and/or bikes, who knows for sure.

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  27. Slasher69 says:

    I don’t think so. He’s definitely a very good racer but he was born on the wrong time. He has to fight against the likes of Rossi at the beginning of his career in premier class, and Stoner and Jorge. Max Biaggi would have been a multiple MotoGP Champion in premier class if Rossi had not been in his way. It’s similar to what happened Randy Mamola.

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  28. Paul says:

    One could argue that it’s mostly been injury that has prevented him from winning a championship in the premier class thus far. However, even without Mr. Excuses riding next year, there will still be at least a handful of riders capable of winning on any given week. The competition will be fierce next year.

  29. Tom says:

    No. He is too small and many times lags at the end. He’s destined to be a bride’s maid but never a bride.

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  30. Provalogna says:

    I think yes, he has a chance. I was very mad he almost caused Nicky Hayden to loose his championship, but got over that. I like him now, he’s spunky!

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