Dani Pedrosa, in my eyes, should have Multiple World Championships. I just feel like he’s been extremely unlucky to have raised, developed and matured in an era where there’s been 4-5 guys that might just be a little bit better than him, and those guys, like I said earlier, are Hall of Fame level talent. The level of rider in MotoGP the last 5 or so years has been UNHEARD of, and it’s only getting better.
For instance, there’s been Valentino Rossi, a guy who’s arguably the greatest rider since Agostini and Hailwood, and has over 100 career wins. Then there’s Casey Stoner, another Hall of Famer, who won two Championships, with two different manufacturers, one of which on a near unbeatable Ducati, the other one on the same Repsol, kinda proving that Pedrosa just wasn’t as good.
Then there’s Jorge Lorenzo, who turned the Yamaha team into winners again, is a Double World Champion and has been the top contender in the sport ever since his 2nd year, not finishing outside of the Top 2, a true level of consistency unseen seen Rossi won 5 straight.
And now, there’s Marc Marquez, who might very well be the greatest natural talent that this sport has ever seen. Who at just 21, has already won over half the top class races he’s ever entered, and who is youngest… well, everything, in MotoGP history.
So where does this leave Dani Pedrosa in this golden era? He’s been the guy who’s been consistently good, but never truly great, always stuck as the bridesmaid, and never the bride as someone a little bit better just pips him to the post. But he’s always been a title contender, but as time has gone by, the general chant of “When will be it Dani’s time?” has piped up.
Is that considered a failure in the eyes of Repsol Honda though? This is a rider who’s won 25 races in the top class, and who has been in the Top 3 of the World Championship on SEVEN different occasions. Yet, many a fan wants him to move along. Is that a failure, given Honda’s factory is considered the strongest in the field? Debatable. But what else does Honda do?
Repsol are in a rather fortunate scenario here. They have Marc Marquez, the phenom, the guy that gives the best possible chance of winning a race. But they have also have (accidentally), a really solid #2 guy, who’ll rack up the points in the background, win you the team title, and challenge for wins on occasion. Pedrosa has improved – His last two seasons were the first time(s) he’s scored 300 points or more in a season. So why would a team risk things and break up a winning combination?
However, I too see the fan standpoint – I’ve seen a lot of fans becoming bored of MotoGP now Marquez is so dominant (For whatever reason), and they want to see what younger, more exciting talent can do on stronger bikes. I’d be lying if I didn’t agree with this way of thinking, my Hashtag of #GetAleixABetterBike is legendary on Twitter as it is, and as I’ve said before here, that 2nd tier of talent is brighter than it ever has in this sport. Bradl, Bautista, Crutchlow, The Espargaro Brothers, Iannone to name a few, not to mention the lower classes of Rabat, Vinales, Salom, Aegerter, Miller, Fenati, Rins and Alex Marquez too.