Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo: the joint career of two pilots who have written part of the history of two wheels. The numbers of two legends.
It looks like a lie, but time passes and two samples like Dani Pedrosa is Jorge Lorenzo have already announced their withdrawal. # 26 in 2018, # 99 in 2019, both part of the Repsol Honda Team. A moment that arrives for everyone, as the Majorcan recognized during his last press conference in Valencia. There are different days that mark a driver's sporting life: one of these is when you come to think that it makes no sense to continue. The latter happened after the accident in Assen.
On the other hand, even if he never admitted it, Dani Pedrosa must have felt it with particular force in that frightening accident with Lorenzo and Dovizioso at the Dry Sack in Jerez in 2018. Started the year with the chance to fight for the title, the Catalan was hit by Zarco in Argentina, reporting an injury. In the Spanish Grand Prix everything was in place, there was the possibility of getting on the podium, until the bang. From that day on, Dani was never the same again, never getting on the podium for the whole season.
His father had gone pale seeing that incident. Fortunately it was immediately understood that there were no serious problems and it was immediately underway to get as close as possible to his son. In that curve that would later bear his name, Pedrosa understood that he did not want to continue fighting injuries. In a joint interview carried out years ago, Lorenzo wished Pedrosa to win the MotoGP title, while the second hoped that the first one would not show too many injuries. At the end of the career of both we can say that the injuries of Jorge da Aragon 2018 at Assen 2019 surely made the thought that it was not worth the pain anymore to mature.
Dani Pedrosa has never become a MotoGP champion and we can say, numbers in hand, that he was the best king without a crown. His technique and his sensitivity to feel the bike are at the level of adults, but his build and injuries did not allow him to realize the dream. It would have been interesting to see him on a Yamaha, a less physical bike that favors constancy. He probably would have achieved even better results and suffered fewer major falls. Be that as it may, both have completed a great career and are part of the history of the sport.
RIVALS OF THE SAME GENERATION
Dani Pedrosa is two years older than Jorge Lorenzo: a detail that can make the difference. The # 26 made its debut in 2001 with Honda in 125cc. The following year he already fought for the title, while the Majorcan (then with the 48) debuted with Derbi. In 2003 Pedrosa won the first title, while Lorenzo began to stand out. To remember the first victory in Brazil with an overtaking on the outside on Stoner and the same world champion. In 2004 their paths separated, with Pedrosa passing in 250cc, while Lorenzo fought for the title.
The # 26 impresses everyone winning the second iris at the debut in the intermediate category, while the Majorcan does not go beyond the 4th final place, opting for the category jump the following year. In 2005 Pedrosa is launched towards the third consecutive title: no one imagined that it would be the last one. The doubt was not whether he would ever become champion, but when and how many times. But first, we record the most tense moments between him and Lorenzo, with exciting hand-to-hand on the track. An example is at the Sachsenring: a strong contact leaves Lorenzo out of the race, while Pedrosa wins with the wrong exhaust. With the passage of Pedrosa in MotoGP, the Majorcan won the first two titles in 250cc with Aprilia.
In 2008 instead we find them both in the queen category. We are talking about a decade in which both have delighted us with great races, podiums, victories and, for Jorge Lorenzo, three world titles. Two legends of this sport for their own merits, compatriots, of different teams, who fought to triumph at a time when we saw other great legends like Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez on the track.
THE NUMBERS: LORENZO VS PEDROSA
If we compare their data, we see great equality, with only one data that marks the difference. Lorenzo won three MotoGP titles (2010, 2012, 2015), while Pedrosa never succeeded, becoming only vice-champion on three occasions (2007, 2010, 2012). As a pole, the Majorcan is the second in history, behind only Marc Marquez. The # 26 is at 49, the sixth of all time. As fast laps, this last one with 64 against the 37 of the rival. The first podium finishes well, compared to the 152 of the three-time MotoGP world champion. In the queen category, however, it is the # 99 to be ahead as the number of podiums with 114, two more than the Catalan. As victories, also in this case Lorenzo is ahead of Pedrosa, 68 against 54. Referring exclusively to MotoGP, Jorge has reached 47 successes, against Dani's 31.
A very similar and intertwined sports career. We can say that Pedrosa was the best in the minor categories, while Lorenzo was superior in MotoGP. There are two determining factors: on the one hand the age difference, favorable to Dani at the beginning of his career compared to Jorge. On the other hand, however, it is necessary to consider the continuous injuries of the pilot number 26, which prevented him from fighting for the crown. They will be tastes, but the greatness of both of them in this sport is not in question.