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Pedrosa: most wins, least successful

Wed, 11 May 2011

Should Dani Pedrosa win at Le Mans this coming weekend he will become the most successful rider In the premier-class not to win the coveted title.

After his triumph in Estoril the Repsol Honda rider currently finds himself on 13 wins and in joint first and a win, at a circuit that sees him rank as one of riders with the most victories in all classes, would make him a clear leader.

Joining Pedrosa at the top of the ranking is Max Biaggi and Randy Mamola, two riders who became associated with the number two. Mamola would always be the bridesmaid finishing second to some big names at total of four times with Biaggi losing out three times. Currently second in championship, Pedrosa will likely want to get his name off the list having already twice finish in second place in the MotoGP championship.

Some of the other big names that join this trio as riders who have five race wins and more but never translated into premier-class champions are:

1. Randy Mamola 13
Max Biaggi 13
Dani Pedrosa 13
4. Loris Capirossi 9
Sete Gibernau 9
6. Luca Cadalora 8
7. Alex Barros 7
8. Wil Hartog 5
Marco Melandri 5

Counting down from 150 to 1, the numbers ahead of this weekend's French MotoGP round are:

150 – At the French GP Jorge Lorenzo is scheduled to become the youngest ever rider to reach the milestone of 150 Grand Prix starts across all classes. The current holder of this record is Dani Pedrosa.
50 – Reigning 125cc world champion Marc Marquez, will be making his 50th Grand Prix start at the French GP.
50 – At the Portuguese GP Dani Pedrosa became just the 11th rider to reach the milestone of 50 podium finishes in the premier-class.
50 years – On the day of qualifying in France, it will be exactly 50 years ago that Kunimitsu Takahashi (Honda) won the 250cc race at the West German Grand Prix at Hockenheim to become the first ever Japanese rider to win a GP. This was also the first win for Honda in the 250cc class.
23 - In addition to Jorge Lorenzo’s great winning record since the start of last year, he has also shown great consistency and has finished in the top four at the last 23 races, a sequence that started at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2009. Since the world championship series started in 1949, only Valentino Rossi has had a longer sequence of successive podiums in the premier-class with 28 successive top three finishes.
23 – Le Mans has hosted a Grand Prix event on twenty three previous occasions, including the Grand Prix “Vitesse du Mans” in 1991, which is the only year that two Grand Prix events have been held in France in the same year.
17 – Jorge Lorenzo’s pole at the Portuguese Grand Prix was the 17th time he has started from pole in the MotoGP class – the same number of MotoGP poles as Dani Pedrosa.
10 – The Portuguese Grand Prix was the tenth time in the MotoGP class that Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo have finished first and second together. Of these ten occasions, Jorge Lorenzo has come out on top on six occasions and Dani Pedrosa four times.
5 – Le Mans is one of just five current circuits at which Casey Stoner did not win during his time in the Ducati factory team; the others were Jerez, Estoril, Silverstone and Indianapolis.
4 - Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, both Honda and Yamaha have had four MotoGP wins at Le Mans, with Suzuki taking the other MotoGP win.
4 – Le Mans is one of just four circuits on this year’s calendar where Ducati have not had a MotoGP win. The others are Indianapolis, Estoril and Silverstone.
4 – There have been four GP wins at the Le Mans circuit by French riders: Jean Aureal won the 125cc race in 1969, Guy Bertin the 125cc race in 1979, Patrick Fernandez the 350cc race in 1979 and Mike di Meglio the 125cc race in 2008.
3 - The four riders who have had the most victories at the Le Mans circuit, all with three victories, are; Dani Pedrosa (2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc), Freddie Spencer (2 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc), Valentino Rossi (3 x MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (2 x MotoGP, 1 x 250cc)
3 – Championship leader Stefan Bradl has finished on the podium three times in the Moto2 class – and stood on the top step on all three occasions.
3 – Honda riders have had just three podium finishes at Le Mans since the introduction of the 800cc capacity limit to MotoGP; Marco Melandri was 2nd in 2007, Dani Pedrosa 3rd in 2009 and Andrea Dovizioso 3rd in 2010.
1 – Kenny Noyes was on pole last year at Le Mans for the Moto2 race, in his first ever race at the French circuit.

By Robin Goodwin

See also: 4 part (almost) stops play, Man of God Sets Guinness World Speed Record with Triumph Rocket Motorcycle Hearse [Video], Goodbye RM85 Suzuki.