Dani Pedrosa

  • Birth date: 29/09/1985
  • Birth place: Sabadell, SPA
  • First Grand Prix: 2001 JAP 125cc
  • First Pole Position 2002 JAP 125cc
  • First Race Fastest Lap 2002 MOT 125cc
  • First Podium 2001 VAL 125cc
  • First GP Victory 2002 NED 125cc
  • Grand Prix Starts 46
  • 125cc Starts 46
  • Grand Prix Victories 8
  • 125cc Victories 8
  • 2nd Placements 4
  • 3rd placements 5
  • Podium 17
  • Pole Positions 8
  • Race Fastest Lap 5
  • World Championship Wins 1 - 2003 125cc
  • Total Points 566
Dani Pedrosa’s passion for motorcycles began, like many of the top current riders, as a small child riding pocket-bikes. By the age of twelve he had won the national championship in his native Spain, but a lack of funds almost curtailed his promising career before it had begun. However, a revolutionary search for fresh racing talent in Spain headed by former Grand Prix star Alberto Puig with funding from telecommunications company MoviStar gave the youngster the opportunity to prove himself on a bigger stage and he took it with both hands.
After responding to a national advertisement, Pedrosa competed in the MoviStar Activa Cup in 1999 and was one of the riders selected by Puig from hundreds of hopefuls to contest the 125cc Spanish Championship in 2000. Four pole positions from twelve rounds and fourth position overall was enough to convince Puig to select him as part of a three-man team alongside Toni Elias and Joan Olive to contest the 125cc World Championship in 2001. 

  • 2001: World Championship debut at the 125cc Japan GP riding an Honda in Team Telefonica Movistar Junior Team. Final Championship position: 8th with 100 points
  • 2002: Second season with Telefonica Movistar Junior Team. Final Championship position: 3rd with 243 points - 3 wins: Netherlands, Pacific, and Valencia.
  • 2003: Wins his first 125cc World Championship for the Telefonica Movistar Junior Team. Championship position: 1st with 223 points after 14 of 16 rounds. 5 wins so far: South Africa, France, Catalunya, Czech Republic and Malaysia.

Other Notes
  • At the age of 18 years and 13 days old Pedrosa becomes the second youngest rider to win the title after Loris Capirossi, who took the first of his two 125cc titles in 1990 at the age of just 17 years and 165 days.
  • Pedrosa become the fifth Spanish rider to win the 125cc World Championship following on from Angel Nieto (1971, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Jorge Martinez (1988), Alex Criville (1989) and Emilio Alzamora (1999).
  • Pedrosa is the seventh rider to win the 125cc title riding a Honda, the others being; Tom Philis (1961), Luigi Taveri (1962, 1964, 1966), Loris Capirossi (1990, 1991), Dirk Raudies (1993), Haruchika Aoki (1995, 1996), Emilio Alzamora (1999).
  • Pedrosa is the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 1997 to clinch the 125cc title with more than one race still to go.
The road to the 2003 Championship

Young Spaniard Daniel Pedrosa is the new 125cc World Champion. The precocious eighteen year-old from Castellar del Valles raced his Telefonica MoviStar to brilliant victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix, at Sepang today to clinch the prestigious world crown with two rounds still remaining in the 16-round series.

Pedrosa is the youngest Spaniard ever to take the title following in the footsteps of former Spanish grand prix giants Angel Nieto, Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez, and Alex Criville.

Pedrosa went into the 19-lap (105.412km) race knowing the title would be on it’s way to Spain if he won the race and closest rival, Stefano Perugini, finished lower than eighth place. Pedrosa is a winner and wanted nothing less than a race victory to put the seal his magnificent season. He did not disappoint. He led from start to finish to take his fifth win of the campaign to take his first world title.

“It was a very hard race. When I woke up his morning I thought the race situation would not be easy for me because it was raining. In the race I got a good start and pushed hard but the track was very slippery but I managed to open a gap on the others and held it. When I finally crossed the finishing line I was very tired. I started crying and I still can’t believe what has happened to me, its fantastic, I have no words to describe it.” Said the new 125cc World Champion.

“Since I was a little boy my ambition was to be a rider, and now I have been proclaimed World Champion. I guess I will need a little time to be able to explain what it’s like to be a World Champion.” Beamed Pedrosa.

“I can only thank everybody who has supported me. Telefonica MoviStar because they gave me the opportunity to be here, to Honda for all the years we have been working together. To my team for the excellent job they have done in teaching me how to work, and to my family for always supporting me. But especially I have to thank Alberto (Puig), because from him I have learned everything. Without all these people I would be sitting at home watching the races on my sofa in front of the television.”

Pedrosa, Telefonica MoviStar Honda and the team manager Alberto Puig, have been synonymous since 1999 when the 14-year-old Pedrosa was selected by Puig to contest the MoviStar Active Joven Cup series. The bold innovative series he launched, which was supported by MoviStar and Honda, to discover and develop talented young riders from raw novices to grand prix riders.

Pedrosa’s career took off when he entered the 1997 Spanish Pocket Bike Championship, aged 11. He finished third in his debut season and went on to win the championship a year later. But the youngster did not have the funds necessary to continue his career and his meeting with Puig was a Godsend to the youngster.

Puig took Pedrosa under his wing providing his young charge with the means that allowed him to fulfil his true potential. Pedrosa finished eighth in the Joven Cup and followed that with fourth place in the 125cc Spanish Championship, starting four races from pole position, proving he had the speed if not consistency.

The shy 15-year old arrived on the grand prix scene in 2001 his hard charging style immediately attracting attention. It came as no surprise when he finished the season in eighth place claiming two podium places in the last four races of the season. Under the guidance of Puig Pedrosa had added consistency to his fast growing range of talents.

He confirmed his credentials in 2002 with three race victories, the first at no less a venue than motorcycle racings most difficult race track the 6.027km Assen circuit in Holland, know to all riders as the ‘Cathedral’ of motorcycle racing. Pedrosa ended the season with third place in the championship and went into 2003 as the favourite of many to lift the world crown.

The 17-year old went to the line for the first GP of the year with his apprenticeship completed. He was ready to race, determined to make the 2003 season his and repay the faith shown in him by Puig, Telefonica MoviStar and Honda.

Shy to a degree Pedrosa’s choirboy looks hide a steely determination. In his short career Pedrosa has mastered the intricacies of 125cc two-stroke machine set up, learned how to nurse home an ailing machine and developed a race craft that belies his tender age.

Pedrosa lay the foundations of his title win in the first half off the season dominating the 125cc field in superb style, scoring three victories and a second place along the way. At mid-season point he faltered slightly, but his race craft saw him through a difficult time. The Telefonica MoviStar Honda team regrouped and struck back with a fine victory at the Czech GP, at Brno in August and the title was again Pedrosa’s to lose.

Two fourth places, at Estoril and Rio were followed by a brilliant ride at Motegi when, after leading the race by almost 10 seconds, a steering damper problem forced him to nurse the Honda home to sixth place and set up the title winning ride at Sepang today.

Pedrosa has earned the respect of all who have watched his career develop and all expect him to flourish in 250cc championship he is scheduled to contest in 2004.

An emotional Puig, team manager and mentor to Pedrosa said: “You have no idea how happy I am with this championship title. We started this project together five years ago, with Dani, MoviStar and Honda and today we are World Champions. When I was forced to stop racing through injury I swore I would help a young rider to win a world title and we have reached our goals.”

”I truly believed in Dani from the very beginning and we have watched him grow to be a champion, it’s just a perfect day. He’s a real World Champion – he won it from the front, he’s a real winner. We have to thank Honda for all the support they have given us, and of course Telefonica MoviStar. I am very proud of this team and what they have done.” Added Puig.

Puig went on to say. ” We are going to move up to the 250cc class next season and we will approach 250 racing as we did the 125 class. We will need time to adjust in the first year. After that we hope to be in a really good position, able to fight for the championship ”

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