Dani Pedrosa wrapped-up his third world title in thrilling style at Phillip Island on Sunday when the Movistar Honda rider beat Repsol Aprilia's Sebastian Porto on the run to the chequered flag.
Had Pedrosa not won the race then he would have been forced to wait until this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix for the chance to clinch his second successive 250cc World Championship. Instead, he not only took victory, but also claimed Honda's 600th GP win.
Here the 20-year-old, who will move up to MotoGP with Honda next season, talks about his shock race win, reflects on his latest championship winning season, reveals the full extent of his shoulder injury, explains how it felt to win a landmark race for Honda and much more...
Dani, the only way you could win the title in Australia was for Casey Stoner to score 1-point or less and for you to win the race. Did you really think that you could win it here?
We've always trusted in our chances, although many others did not. Not many people expected it, only us, and that says a lot about what is happening around us. Many things have been said these days, both in the media and my rivals as well. But we focussed on working and not doing strange things. When you focus the results are there. And it was here, on this track, and it's been a great satisfaction.
I haven't been scared at any time, although after Qatar I really thought that the championship was getting more and more complicated, because the (shoulder injury) recovery was being very slow. I hadn't improved in three weeks and I didn't know how long it would take.
Then the practice sessions in Australia were rather average, but on Sunday morning I woke up with my mind made up to win the race. I knew that everything would be different compared with Friday or Saturday, and so it has been.
How would you describe your race at Phillip Island?
It was an intelligent and conservative race.
What was your plan?
First of all to make a good start and then assess the situation. Stoner crashed at an early stage and De Angelis hit against him. Although he managed to avoid crashing, the bike broke, so there were two rivals less. Lorenzo, Porto and I, who were lapping further back, saw it and were able to avoid them.
Porto was lapping very fast, so I decided to follow him and we opened a considerable gap leaving the rest behind. From then on I began to study him. I didn't try anything and I think it became a rather calm race for both of us. I stayed behind him because he had a better pace than me.
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