By Antonio López
15 years and 138 days have passed between Pedrosa’s first victory at the 2002 Dutch GP and his win at the final GP of Valencia last year. A timeline that puts him fourth in the history of the sport regarding time elapsed between his first top podium visit and his ultimate victory. Topping this list is, of course, Valentino Rossi, with a career of no fewer than 20 years and 311 days, followed by Loris Capirossi and the ill-fated Angel Nieto, whom Dani has the opportunity to surpass if this year he manages to win a GP after the Czech Republic.
There is a record that Dani has over all other riders of any time: he is the only rider who has won a race every season for 16 consecutive seasons; from 2002 to 2017
But there is a record that Dani has over all of them: he is the only rider who has won a race every season for 16 consecutive seasons. From 2002 to 2017, he has at least one victory each season, something that no other rider has managed. Valentino, for example, had his winning streak interrupted when he moved to the ranks of Ducati. Until then, he had 15 consecutive seasons in which he managed to stand on top of the podium every season. Loris Capirossi, never had more than 3 consecutive seasons with wins and Nieto had one year in which he did win any races, so his record covered only 12 consecutive seasons with wins.
Dani’s record can have at least 9 more years!
The most curious thing about this data is that Dani’s record can have at least 9 more years! The only active rider that could beat Dani 16 seasons with wins is Márquez, who at the moment has 8 consecutive years with wins. Rossi, after two years at Ducati, returned to consecutive season wins in 2013. Lorenzo began to win in 2003, but his counter was set to 0 with his step up to 250cc, and more recently, with his move to Ducati; his record thus stagnated at 11 seasons. Viñales’s first year in MotoGP where he did not have any wins also keeps him out of the running for this record.
Number of seasons with consecutive wins
1st Pedrosa – 16
2nd Rossi – 15
3rd Biaggi – 13
4th Agostini – 12
5th Nieto – 12
6th Lorenzo – 11
7th Doohan – 9
8th Cadalora – 9
9th Dörflinger – 9
10th Márquez – 8
Longest time elapsed between the 1st and the last victory
Valentino Rossi – 20 years 311 days
Loris Capirossi – 17 years 49 days
Angel Nieto – 16 years 8 days
Dani Pedrosa – 15 years 138 days
Phil Read – 14 years 71 days
Jorge Lorenzo – 13 years 54 days
12 + 1 times MotoGP title candidate
Dani’s progression during his start was one of the most meteoric. 125cc World Champion in 2003, 250cc World Champion 2004, heroics such as winning his very first race in the intermediate category, and again becoming Champion in 2005. With three world titles under his belt, he made the jump to MotoGP in 2006. All had marked him as the successor to Valentino Rossi. The bar for Pedrosa was very high, but Dani did not disappoint. In the very first race he was challenging for the victory, and throughout the season he was always in the top positions of the championship. A year later he finished second, however his real chance did not arrive until 2008. At the halfway point in the Championship, he led the provisional championship just as the season entered the circuits that were considered to suit him best. But at the German GP, leading the race by a large margin on wet asphalt, he fell at the end of the straight, seriously injuring his hand and saying goodbye to the title.
In 2010 he had another chance. Lorenzo was far ahead in points, but over just three races Pedrosa managed to reduce the difference significantly when there were still five races left in the season. Once again, injuries hindered his chance for the title. A failure in his Honda’s electronic accelerator caused a violent crash in which broke his clavicle in two places, leaving him out of contention for a long time.
His best season, without a doubt, was 2012.
His best season, without a doubt, was 2012. Things were close then in Brno Dani scored his best victory by beating Jorge in the final meters of the Czech circuit. But over two races remaining the title slipped between his fingers: In Misano, Barberá took him out under braking, and in Australia he crashed while leading the race. That year ended with no fewer than 7 wins for Dani, and with 332 points.
Best final position in MotoGP: 2nd (2007, 2010 and 2012)
Victories in MotoGP: 31
Greatest number of victories in a season in MotoGP: 7 (2012)
Highest number of points in a MotoGP season: 332 (2012)
Pole Positions in MotoGP: 30
Most Pole Positions in a season: 5 (2007 and 2012)