; Pedrosa reaches the pinnacle – The Citizen

Pedrosa reaches the pinnacle

In his winning career he’s pushed through the pain of numerous injuries.

Three-time Motorcycle World Champion Dani Pedrosa was crowned as a MotoGP Legend during the Valencia race weekend, before hanging up his helmet.

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Pedrosa won the 125cc World Championship in 2003, the 250cc title in 2004 and 2005, and is one of the most successful riders of all time in the premier class.

Pedrosa’s international career began in 2001 in the 125cc World Championship.

As a rookie, he took two podiums and finished his first season in eighth place overall.

The next year he took his first wins – three of them – to finish the season third overall, before he went two better in the podium for the first time out in Jerez and then needed only four races to take his first victory in Shanghai.

He took another win in his rookie year, at Donington Park, and ended the year in the top five.

In 2007, Pedrosa was second overall to only Casey Stoner and added more wins and podiums to his tally.

He finished in the top three in the Championship in 2008 – despite breaking his right hand in pre-season testing and sitting out the US GP after injuring his left hand.

In 2009, he managed the same top three despite more injuries, and in 2010 was runner-up once again.

He had another battle through the pain barrier in 2011, before an incredible assault on the title in 2012 that saw the Spaniard only narrowly miss out on the crown – and win the most races that year.

In 2013, Pedrosa was leading the standings before a collarbone break and was third overall in the MotoGP category. In 2014, he had arm problems throughout the season but took another win.

In 2015, he had career-saving surgery to fix that and was back on the top step towards the end of the year at Motegi and at Sepang.

In 2016, he won at Misano, and in 2017 made history again as he took to the top step in the 3 000th race counting towards the World Championship, in Jerez.

He also won the season finale, underlining an incredible achievement. He’s the first rider in history to win at least one Grand Prix per season for 16 consecutive years.

After also taking the third most podiums of all time behind only Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini, Pedrosa retired last Sunday, joining the ranks of MotoGP Legends.

He is now on a long list of greats who have been made MotoGP Legends.

It includes Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Kork Ballington and the late Nicky Hayden.

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