Assen MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa salvages surprise second

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Dani Pedrosa put nightmare preparations for the Assen MotoGP race behind him to finish in a surprise second place at the legendary Dutch circuit.

The Repsol Honda rider looked out of sorts all weekend as he struggled to get his RC212V to run at a competitive pace to challenge Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo.

But the triple world champion made his customary fast start from seventh on the grid. And once he quickly disposed of Ben Spies’ Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine on lap three, he set about offering some resistance to Lorenzo.

He did briefly threaten to challenge the Fiat Yamaha rider to claim only his second win of the season. But having closed to within 0.3s of Lorenzo, the runaway points leader upped his pace and comfortably pulled away.

Pedrosa was able to easily fend off Casey Stoner’s factory Ducati GP10 to claim only his third rostrum of the season and reclaim second in the overall standings from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

But with Lorenzo unstoppable at the front again, Pedrosa is now 47-points adrift in the title hunt and he said: “I got a good start and I was third into the first corner. Spies was in front of me and Jorge was going away so I thought I had to overtake him.

"So when I did I just pushed as hard as I could. Then I saw that my lap time was quite good and thought maybe I can do a good race. I pushed and I was able to stay with Jorge for longer than I expected.

"But maybe with ten laps to go he started to get some advantage in the first section and then I couldn’t catch him on the rest of the lap.

"That’s when I started to lose time. I’m very happy with the result because in practice we were all the time on average over six-tenths slower than the top and I didn’t have the pace.

Pedrosa also conceded that compatriot Lorenzo was formidable opposition and on current form tough to beat this season.

Lorenzo streaked away to claim his fourth win in six races and he’s only dropped ten points so far with second places in Qatar and Mugello.

Pedrosa added “He’s doing great. He’s constant every practice and every race, so sure it’s hard to beat him. But we have to keep going.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt