MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 04: China GP > Race Results
MotoGPChinaMay 4, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Grand Prix of China at Shanghai

Pedrosa Puts in Determined Ride To Take Second

Qualifying >>
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode a coolly calculating race at rapid pace to settle for second place behind winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and ahead of third-placed Casey Stoner (Ducati). Dani has now finished on the podium at the last five Grands Prix.

Dani Pedrosa

Nicky Hayden

Rain fell before the earlier 125 and 250cc races but the track was largely dry when the grid formed for the premier class encounter. Some runners thought about riding with intermediates but then settled on slicks for this 22-lap Grand Prix.

Stoner fired his machine off the line to head the pack into turn one with poleman Colin Edwards (Yamaha) on his tail and then Rossi holding an early third spot as the field poured out of one of the tightest turns in Grand Prix racing without incident. Dani lay fourth at this early stage.

It first looked as though Edwards might have a significant advantage as the Texan rider opened up a half second lead on Stoner and Rossi as a fast-starting Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) worked on getting past Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) for fifth place.

But it was Dani who took control at the head of the field on lap two when he scythed past Rossi for third, before dispatching Stoner in second and then on the same lap taking Edwards for the lead. Rossi saw the danger of Dani making a big break and the Italian immediately upped his pace to chase the rapidly disappearing Dani.

By lap three Pedrosa held a 1.1 second advantage as Rossi dived past Edwards to make chase. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) too was on the move, the rookie star snatching fifth as Dani put in an early fastest lap of 2m 00.585s to hold a 0.2 second advantage over Rossi.

But Rossi made his move on Dani on lap five and by the end of that lap he had extended a 0.35 second lead over the Honda man. Edwards meanwhile had run wide at turn one and dropped from third to seventh.

No one could stay with Rossi and Pedrosa and the duo were two seconds ahead of the pursuing Stoner by lap eight. Nicky was fourth at this stage ahead of a revitalized Marco Melandri (Ducati) in fifth.

Dani put in another fastest lap on lap ten as he tried to stay with Rossi. Stoner by now was almost out of sight, a full seven seconds shy of the leaders, such was the dominance of the leading pair. As Rossi upped the pace still further he managed to put 0.6 seconds between him and Dani.

The big fight was for fourth place between Melandri, Dovi, Edwards and Lorenzo. This was acted out while Rossi’s lead over Dani varied between half a second at best and quarter of a second when Dani worked his RC 212V out the turns to claw back some ground.

As the race entered the closing laps Rossi fired in a 1m 59.273s fastest lap to make Dani realize his pursuit might be in vain. Sure enough by lap 20 of this 22-lap affair, the Italian former World Champion was enjoying a comparatively comfortable one second cushion over Pedrosa.

At the flag the clock showed 3.7 seconds, Dani having decided that a safe second place at this early stage of an 18-race season was of far higher value than the risk of throwing away vital points in a vain attempt to pass the leader in only the fourth race.

There have now been four different winners of these four races and with Lorenzo finishing fourth, the title race now shows Dani leading the pack on 81 points, Lorenzo second with 74, Rossi on 72 and Stoner fourth on 56. Nicky lies eighth with 29 after a sixth place finish.

250cc Grand Prix
Perhaps the most unfortunate rider here in Shanghai this weekend was Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) who had a valiant third-place finish snatched from his grasp by mechanical failure on the final lap of this race. Mika Kallio won from team-mate Hiro Aoyama (both KTM) with Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) inheriting the final podium place from the luckless Takahashi.

As the track dried towards the end of this 21-lap race, Takahashi was setting fastest laps in his pursuit of Japanese rival Aoyama and on a track where top speed is at a premium his riding in tricky conditions was worthy of greater reward.

An eventual seventh, he said: “I started well and didn’t push too hard, as I didn’t want to take risks and crash, as the conditions were very difficult. There was a lot of stress in the race as everybody wanted to lead. I saw Kallio try and pull away and I decided to push harder so I wouldn’t lose the leading group. I was able to use the slipstream on the long straight and was able to maintain a good rhythm, but then on the last corner something stopped working and I slipped down to seventh position.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing RS250RW) finished a strong eighth, equaling his best result in Grands Prix so far.

Kallio heads the World Championship points standings with 82 to second placed Pasini on 61 with Hector Barbera (Aprilia) on 49 and the dogged Takahashi with 46.

125cc Grand Prix
This race ran in wet conditions and was won by Andrea Iannone (Aprilia), his first win in the class, with Mike di Meglio (Derbi) 3.35 seconds behind and reigning World Champion Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) third.

As the track began to dry in the closing laps Iannone looked comfortable in the lead and his margin of victory at the flag allowed this stranger to the top placings some lurid celebration wheelies as he savoured his maiden win. Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) finished a creditable 18th in tough conditions.

Shinya Nakano

Yuki Takahashi

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
"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."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 6th.
"We knew starting tenth was never going to be easy. I crashed my number one bike in qualifying, then this morning I rode the other bike, so I started the race with the bike I'd crashed but it was fine. I got a really good start and a good first corner too, but I just couldn't go with the lead group today. We had a huge tailwind on the back straightaway, so I was running out of gear. It made it so hard to get it stopped for the corner at the end of the straight, so a lot of guys were running wide. Mid-race I had a few problems, felt a few drops of rain, and my corner speed in the long corners wasn't so good. Towards the end I changed a few little things with my lines and the traction control settings. I started to move forward and at the end I was going pretty good. There was a lot of good battling going on but it would've been better to have been battling for a better position. I didn't give up, kept pushing and picked off a few guys near the end."

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 10th.
“The track conditions weren’t easy today because there were still damp patches when we started. It wasn’t actually a bad start for me and I made up some positions. In the second half of the race my pace improved and I was able to pass Dovizioso for tenth, although I’m not satisfied with that. Now we have to take the positives out of this weekend for the next race in France. If we can show the same kind of pace that we did here in practice and get a good grid position then I’m sure we can look forward to much better at Le Mans.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 11th.
“The final result of today doesn’t show our real potential. From 11th on the grid I knew I was still in a good condition to come up to the head of the race and fight for the top positions. During the first part of the race I could really show my potential for a good result. I was so sorry to be further back at the chequered flag but the weather conditions forced us to make some technical choices that we had not really tested in these conditions. I tried to resist the attacks from Hayden and Melandri, but unfortunately the situation we had got worse and I had to slow down a lot meaning I didn’t have the chance to fight. I’m sorry for the team as they all worked so hard and I was looking for a better result, which would give us more satisfaction after so much hard work was done over the course of the weekend.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 13th.
"I am very disappointed! My start was bad but at the end of the first lap before the main straight Hopkins tried to overtake me but he made a big mistake and I went wide. I was able to stay up to continue my race but the front-end did not work in the best way. The situation improved after some laps when I passed Guintoli. I also tried my best to pass Toseland but it was not possible. Honestly we expected a better result here and I hope to do a good race in Le Mans".

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 16th.
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy for us in the dry but early in the race I was hit by Hopkins when we were braking into turn one and we both ran wide, although thankfully neither of us crashed. From then on it wasn’t easy to stay in touch with the group and virtually impossible to get amongst them. The bike was becoming harder to ride as the race wore on and we have to study the telemetry to find out why. I think we need to go back to the setting we had in preseason and start again.”

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 7th.
“How unlucky! I’m very sorry for my team as here in China they worked like crazy for me and I was able to ride a very well set up bike. I started well and didn’t push too hard, as I didn’t want to take risks and crash, as the conditions were very difficult. There was a lot of stress in the race as everybody wanted to lead. I saw Kallio try and pull away and I decided to push harder so I wouldn’t lose the leading group. I rode a good, hard race, I was feeling well despite the crash from yesterday and I was able to sit in third position. I was able to use the slipstream on the long straight and was able to maintain a good rhythm, but then on the last corner something stopped working and I slipped down to seventh position.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 8th.
“I didn’t make a good start, but in the beginning of the race my bike was working very well, almost perfect and I made up several positions. But when the track conditions started to dry and the temperature got up my tyres started sliding a lot and I couldn't push any harder. But I’m very happy because I started from 18th on the grid and finished eighth.”

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 18th.
"It is a strange feeling to be riding on a track made slippery by the rain. It is very easy to get caught out. I remained focused in order not to make any mistakes and to finish the race. I had a fairly good start, but I am disappointed not to have been able to contain the attacks from the pack of riders behind me. They overtook me and it took me time to manage to find a more steady rhythm. In the morning warm up I felt more comfortable because there was a lot of water on the track, but towards the end of the race the track wasn't as wet, even drying in places, and that wasn't so easy. It was a good experience!“

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Grand Prix of China at Shanghai

1 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
4 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
5 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
6 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
8 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
9 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
12 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
13 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
14 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
15 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)

Dani Pedrosa
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
2 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
3 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
4 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
5 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
6 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
8 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
9 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
10 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
11 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
13 Eugene LAVERTY (Blusens Aprilia)
14 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
15 Doni Tata PRADITA (Yamaha Pertamina Indonesia)
1 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
2 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
3 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
4 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
5 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
6 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
7 Michael RANSEDER (I.C. Team)
8 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
9 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
10 Efren VAZQUEZ (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
11 Esteve RABAT (Repsol KTM 125cc)
12 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol KTM 125cc)
13 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
14 Stevie BONSEY (Degraaf Grand Prix)
15 Pere TUTUSAUS (Bancaja Aspar Team)

< MotoGP
Related Links

· Honda Worldwide | MotoGP - FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
· China

Page Top

Honda Worldwide site

Home | Site Map | Site Index | About this Site

Copyright, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.