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MotoGP: Thrilling win for Pedrosa in Czech Republic

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa scored his second consecutive win and eighth successive podium today in Brno, in an intense battle with Jorge Lorenzo that went down to the wire.

Dani starting from 3rd on the grid was able to pass Cal Crutchlow, in second position, before the first corner and closely tracked pole man Jorge for the first 11 laps, with the two Spanish riders trading record fastest race laps. Only hundredths of seconds separated the two and eventually on lap 12 Dani made a pass and held onto the lead until the final lap. With only a few corners remaining, Jorge passed Dani and both were involved in a dramatic final few turns which resulted in Dani squeezing out Jorge and taking the victory, a perfect gift to his father on his birthday!

This is Dani's 3rd win of 2012 and his 41st career victory, all on a Honda, equalling Mike Hailwood in most victories ever on a Honda, behind Mick Doohan (54) and Jim Redman (45).

Dani has now reduced the gap to Championship leader Jorge to 13 points with 6 rounds of the 2012 season remaining. Casey Stoner, ruled out of this race due to injury remains in 3rd position with 186 points.

The Repsol Honda Team will be back on track in Brno tomorrow for an Official Test day, which will see, as previously announced, Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea step in for the injured Casey Stoner.

Dani Pedrosa, Honda: race winner
“Today was one of my best races in MotoGP ever. To win with a big gap is always nice, but to have a battle like today with Jorge, it’s sometimes more rewarding. It was a difficult last lap because I knew that Jorge was very fast in the middle of the corners and I could hear the bike right on me and I knew that just the smallest gap would allow him to pass. In fact, in that left corner I opened the door just a little more than normal and ‘boom’ he was there. I could see his bike in my face! With just half a lap to go, I was a little more nervous than before, but I knew I had some strong points coming to the end of the lap. I tried to get the best drive up the hill and then in the last corner I was beside him. When I released the brakes we were side by side in the corner and I was able to take my line and win the race. It was amazing and I’m really happy with this victory, for all my team and also for my father because it is his birthday! For the Championship we must keep up this momentum as Jorge is riding very strong and consistently in the top two. Testing will be important to set us up for the final part of the season, so let’s see what we can do.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha: 2nd
“I really enjoyed that race, mainly in the last laps, Dani and I tried everything for the win. We are so close in the Championship that every point is important. It was a very strategic race, in some parts of it I was slowing down to relax a bit and get some air and I think Dani was a little later on as well, staying calm and preparing for the last laps. When Dani was pushing a lot I took a lot of risks to stay with him and finally I had to try to pass him, the victory was so close I had to try. This time Dani was cleverer than me and braver so congratulations to him, next time maybe it will be different! A big thank you to my team as well who worked really hard and made a very competitive bike for me.”

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha: 3rd
“It feels fantastic to finally score my first podium in MotoGP. This has been the perfect weekend for me because I signed a new contract with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and then scored my best ever qualifying result yesterday. So to cap it all off with a podium is a great feeling and hopefully I've already gone a little way to repaying the faith Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster have shown in me. It wasn't an easy race because I was on my own for most of it and it was a real test of concentration. The pleasing aspect is my pace was really consistent throughout, but it had to be because I knew Andrea was behind. I basically raced my pit board so I knew where he was but I knew he was going to be hard to beat when you look at how well he has been riding lately. I felt comfortable holding the gap to him but I couldn't afford to make a mistake because I knew he'd be ready to pounce. It felt great when I came across the line and saw my crew celebrating because they have given me unbelievable support. I feel the pressure is off a little bit now, so hopefully today's podium is the first of many. To end a 12-year drought for a British rider to get on a MotoGP podium is also a great feeling. It seems a long t ime since Jeremy McWilliams did it, so I hope the British fans don't have to wait that long for the next one!”

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