March 30, Google News

JEREZ, Spain — Spain's Dani Pedrosa grabbed the world championship lead with a dominant display in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider set a cracking pace after starting from second on the grid, serving notice of his intentions by setting a new lap record on the second lap.

He quickly left his rivals in his wake, leading all the way to notch up his 28th career win and fifth in MotoGP.

Italian Valentino Rossi, the five-time world champion in the top class, finished second at 2.883sec to record his 100th podium placing in this category with Pedrosa's Spanish teammate Jorge Lorenzo third at 4.339.

Pedrosa moves into the overall world championship lead after finishing third in Qatar three weeks ago.

"I was concerned above all in not making a mistake and keeping up a good rhythm," said Pedrosa.

"I was very happy and proud when the King (Juan Carlos) handed me the trophy.

"It was a surprise for us to win. We have worked very hard for this. It is unbelievable. I hope that we can continue in the same vein."

Rossi, who ended a podium drought going back to the Australian race last year, was delighted with his result.

"This is an important result for us," said the Italian, who is sporting a new look this season with a shaven head instead of the mop of curls adorned by earrings.

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photo: Dani Pedrosa notched up his 28th career win and fifth in MotoGP in Jerez (AFP)