Daniel Pedrosa is only 5'2" tall and 102 lbs heavy, a light-weight even for a motorcycle rider. Strictly speaking, the Spaniard is about 4 inches smaller and 20 pounds lighter than the smallest and lightest of his competitors. Many journalists in the field found him to be “too small” and “too light” when Pedrosa announced his move into the MotoGP class in 2006.
And this was not completely unfounded: in the King Class of motorcycle racing, in which a racer rides with 240 HP, the machines weigh three-times as much as Pedrosa himself weighs. In addition, his legs barely reach the ground when he is sitting on his Honda.
In his own fashion, the Spaniard showed the critics one better: he has taken eight podiums and two wins already in the 2008 season!
Daniel Pedrosa has been riding in motorcycle races since he was 11. Under the wings of manager Alberto Puig – himself a former motorcycle professional – the supertalent developed in fast-motion: at 13, he was discovered by Puig, at 15 – spurred by his manager – he left school and participated for the first time in a World Championship race. At 16, he won his first GP victory, at 17 he took third in the 125cc overall rankings, at 18 he got first (in the 125cc class) and then at 19 he got second, and at 20, he won his third World Championship title (both in the 250cc class).
Although Daniel Pedrosa became the world champion three times in the last three years, his career did not continue without setbacks. In October, 2003, for example, just five days after his first World Championship title, Pedrosa fell into Phillip Island (AUS) so severely that he shattered both of his ankles.
Could he pull off the same feat – switching classes and being world champion in the same year – in the King Class? Equipped with a narrower seat and a shorter tank from Honda, Pedrosa in any case feels better at his new workplace.
He spent the winter in the wheelchair, and yet in the next season, he switched to the 250cc class – and immediately won the first race. After five more wins, he was the undeniably youngest quarter-liter world champion of all time at the age of 19 years and 20 days.
He will feel even better however in the next season: in 2007, the manufacturers must streamline their machines from a capacity of 990 to 800 cubic centimeters, and the bikes will be 10 kilos lighter. And 10 kilos is an amount that will most certainly be welcomed by the lightest rider in the field.