China MotoGP reaction: Dani Pedrosa claims championship lead

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Dani Pedrosa maintained his 100 per cent podium record in 2008 with a second place in Shanghai that saw him seize the outright lead in the MotoGP world championship.

Level on points with bitter Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo going into Sunday’s race, Pedrosa finished a distant second to Valentino Rossi but with Lorenzo only fourth, he now leads the series by seven-points.

Pedrosa led from the second lap to the hard braking point for the hairpin on lap five when Rossi moved by. Dani Pedrosa mounted a fierce counter attack without ever seriously threatening Rossi, who eventually eased to his first win on Bridgestone tyres.

The factory Honda rider, who won his first MotoGP race in China back in 2006, said: “I’m very happy with today’s result. We had been expecting a wet race, so to get second today is fantastic and it’s 20 good points for the championship.

“I started a bit cautious during the early laps because I didn’t know what the track conditions were like, but then Valentino and I began to set an extremely fast pace. Lap by lap our rhythm got faster. I had the advantage through the middle section of the track, he had the advantage through the first and last sections.

“My Michelin tyres were working really well and we were riding at lap record pace all through the race. The wind was very strong today, so my engine was over-revving, which is why I decided to ride a little more conservatively in the final laps to secure second place and the world championship lead.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt