Dani Pedrosa’s defeat to rookie teammate Marc Marquez in this year’s MotoGP campaign does not mean he now has no hope of winning a championship, Honda insists.
This year had previously been billed by Honda as a “now or never” campaign for Pedrosa, who had ended 2012 in scintillating form and started the season as one of the favorites.
He led the championship seven rounds in but missed the German Grand Prix after crashing in practice at the Sachsenring and breaking his collarbone. Marquez won in his absence, taking the points lead in the process, before storming to four more wins and the title in his rookie season.
Pedrosa, finished the year third, behind Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, but team boss Livio Suppo believes circumstances ” including race-ending contact with Marquez at Aragon ” conspired against him.
“Unfortunately, Dani has been very unlucky,” he said. “With almost no crashes this season he got injured in one of the few at the Sachsenring, and then due to no fault of his own he had the DNF in Aragon.
“Without these two races ” where I believe he could have won, or at worst finished second ” it’s easy to see he would have also been fighting for the title in Valencia. Still his potential remains very high and we are sure that next year he will remain in the title fight.”
HRC chief Shuhei Nakamoto, who made the claim at the start of the year that Pedrosa would either open the floodgates in 2013 or never win the title, agrees that the Spaniard was blameless for the incidents that derailed his title bid.
“Before Dani had the accident at Sachsenring he was in very good shape but afterwards, he was unable to physically fight for the victories,” he added. “Then also there was the Aragon incident, which was very unfortunate. Without the accidents, then Dani would have been fighting to the end with Jorge and Marc for sure.”