In 2004 became the youngest ever 250cc World Champion, at 19 years and 18 days, taking the record from Marco Melandri by over a year. Earlier in the season Pedrosa’s victory in the opening race in South Africa made him the youngest ever winner of a 250cc Grand Prix.
In a spectacular year, he won five times and only failed to finish on the podium in three races. He is also the first rider since 1960 to win the 125cc title and then the 250cc title in consecutive years.
Pedrosa’s passion for motorcycles began, like many of the top current riders, as a small child riding pocket-bikes. By the age of 12 he had won the Spanish National Championship, but a lack of funds almost curtailed his promising career before it had begun. However, a search for fresh racing talent in Spain headed by former Grand Prix star Alberto Puig gave the young man the opportunity to prove himself on a bigger stage.
After responding to a national advertisement, Pedrosa competed in the MoviStar Activa Cup in 1999 and was one of the riders selected by Puig from hundreds of hopefuls to contest the 125cc Spanish Championship in 2000. Four pole positions from twelve rounds and fourth position overall was enough to convince Puig to select him as part of a three-man team alongside Toni Elias and Joan Olive to contest the 125cc World Championship in 2001. Now he seems certain to be one of the big motorcycling riders of the future.