LAST season Spain completed a perfect trio of championships in MotoGP becoming the first country to ever achieve this feat, Dani Pedrosa believes this has come around from three elements built in his home country; talent, determination and work.
Jorge Lorenzo was glorious in MotoGP, Toni Elias became the inaugural Moto2 champion and Marc Marquez displayed his future promise taking the 125 crown. Speaking in an official Honda interview, Pedrosa commented on the riders coming out of Spain: "What makes a rider good or not I think it's three things. First one, I would say, talent first, determination, second spot, and then work. So some are more talented than others and they push more from the work side. The other ones push more from determination."
Motorcycle sport ranks highly in popularity with the Spanish masses and the Dorna run CEV championship almost mirrors that of the MotoGP series, with 125 and Moto2 machines making two of the highly contested classes of the domestic series.
Spain has produced some legends of the sport with the record books featuring the name of 12+1 champion Angel Nieto from his dominance of the lower cc classes in the 60, 70 and 80's and Alex Criville, who became the first Spaniard to win the premier class.
It is not only the Spanish riders who take advantage of the quality of the tracks, four of which appear on the MotoGP calendar, many foreign riders make the exodus to Spain to develop their craft, a point highlighted by Buckmaster in his critique of the ACU, "I would say we have very good structure in Spain with the tracks, with the Spanish championship, they take a lot of care to bring riders. Many also foreigners they go to race there. We have good weather. This is also important."
"But the Spanish federation, the Catalan federation, they take a lot of care of these young kids which maybe now they are eight, nine, ten-years-old and maybe in ten years we see them racing here," said Dani, "I think this is the key, basically. Spain believes in motorcycling." An important point that he highlights by the fact that when stopped at the traffic lights, the road is lined with people on scooters all ready for a race.
Pedrosa grew up admiring the riders of the 90's in amazement of the 500GP riders, he was quizzed on whether he wished he could've ridden a 500, "I was able one time almost when I was a 125 rider to make this kind of journalist test, but finally they cancelled. I was going to test 250 and then 500." (A sight that would have been terrifying and incredible.)
After his win at Estoril Pedrosa sits in second place in the championship and only four points away from the reigning champion, despite still recovering from a painful shoulder injury.