Dani Pedrosa shows he is a complete rider at Le Mans

THEY may be at very different stages of their respective MotoGP careers, but Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez both showed how much they have matured as premier class riders at a saturated Le Mans on Sunday.

Racing in the wet was for many years a bête noire for Pedrosa, hitting a nadir in 2008 when he threw away a 7.5 second lead and top spot in the title race with a high-speed crash in Sachsenring.

But five years later, the Spaniard is a very different animal, and while a world title still eludes him, his 4.8-second victory after starting from sixth in France shows he is a far more complete rider than he has ever been.

The performance had a bit of everything – his trademark fast start, a dogfight with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, and an exemplary ride out in front.

The contrast of crashing whilst leading in Germany in 2008 and bringing the race home in 2013 could not be starker.

With nobody ahead to gauge changes in the track’s grip or temperature levels, it was down to Pedrosa to lead the pack home and feel his way to victory – and he managed it with aplomb.

Considering the win also came off the back of a qualifying crash on Saturday at the iconic circuit, it makes the feat all the more impressive.

As for Marquez, it appeared his inexperience had finally caught up with him following his mind-blowing adaptation to the premier class.

Instead, the race just served to showcase his remarkable talent even further.

After a difficult start which dropped him down to eighth – as well as an error which saw him run off track – Marquez looked to be in difficulty on his wet-race debut.

But it took less than half race-distance for him to adapt to conditions he had never before experienced on such a large and powerful bike before he began reeling people in.

After a handful of laps, his championship hopes could have been in tatters as Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo pulled clear and Marquez laboured.

By the end, it was the more experienced world champion Lorenzo struggling as Marquez found his feet.

Quite why things went so badly for Yamaha is hard to say.

Valentino Rossi looked to be in with a chance of his first victory since returning to the Japanese manufacturer, only to make an error and crash out.

Lorenzo’s plight is more puzzling, and only time will reveal quite why he dropped so dramatically off the pace.

That he was struggling for several laps prior to his plunge was clear, but the cause remains a mystery.

Tyre degradation, a steamed-up visor, a bad setup or perhaps even a loss in confidence could be the cause.

Whatever the case, it was unusual to see Lorenzo – usually a model of consistency – suffer so badly in the conditions.

Whatever the reason, Yamaha’s travails should not overshadow the achievements of the two Spaniards at Repsol Honda.

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