Dani Pedrosa draws his career to a close this weekend in Valencia after a long and successful career, prompting discussion about what does a rider need to achieve to be given the designation of a legend. Well let’s look at what he has achieved:
- This weekend he will be making his 295thGP starts. Only Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi has made more GP starts.
- 54 grand prix wins – making him 7thin the all-time GP winners list.
- 31 wins in the premier-class – 8thin the all-time list
- 153 grand prix podium finishes – third on the all-time list after Rossi and Giacomo Agostini (Lorenzo is currently on 152 podium finishes, so could equal Pedrosa’s total this weekend)
- 112 premier-class podium finishes – third on the all-time list after Rossi and Lorenzo.
- He has won at least one grand prix every year for 16 successive years from 2002 to 2017. This is the record as the longest sequence of successive years that a rider has achieved at least one grand prix victory.
- He won at least one race in the MotoGP class every year for twelve successive seasons. The only other rider to have achieved this in the premier-class is Giacomo Agostini.
- He has had the fourth longest winning career in grand prix racing after Rossi, Capirossi and Angel Nieto.
- He has the third longest winning career in the premier-class after Rossi and Alex Barros.
- In 2003 he became the second youngest ever 125cc world champion after Loris Capirossi.
- In his debut race in the 250cc class in South Africa in 2004 he became the youngest ever 250cc grand prix race winner.
- Also in 2004 he became the youngest ever 250cc world champion and the youngest rider to win a title in two different classes.
- In 2005 he retained the 250cc world title making him the youngest rider to be three times a world champion.
- He has been runner-up in the MotoGP world championship on three occasions; in 2007 behind Casey Stoner, in 2010 & 2012 to Jorge Lorenzo.
- Comparing to the rider some think of as the greatest of all-time: in his thirteen years in the MotoGP class he has finished ahead on Valentino Rossi in the world championship on six occasions.
Although Pedrosa never achieved that dream MotoGP title, that is perhaps due to circumstances outside his control: his small physical stature, a fragile body and being around at a time when the premier-class is more competitive than ever with such other great riders as Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo and Marquez.
Stand up and take a bow Dani – a true motorcycle grand prix racing legend!