Randy de Puniet took his second ever MotoGP podium, and first since 2007, with a daring tenth to third ride in Sunday's slippery British Grand Prix at Donington Park.
In doing so, de Puniet gave the LCR Honda team its first rostrum since Casey Stoner in 2006, and exceeded his entire 2008 points tally after just ten rounds of the season.
The Frenchman held eighth during the early stages of the race, as all but the Ducati Marlboro riders came to terms with slick tyres on an increasingly wet track.
de Puniet then gained four places in five laps and began a thrilling battle for third with factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, whom de Puniet finally shook off with ten of the 30 laps to go.
At that same time Valentino Rossi crashed from the lead, putting de Puniet second only to Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, whose ten-second advantage de Puniet was soon eating into.
But de Puniet was in turn coming under attack from Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, who took second from the #14 with three laps to go. de Puniet quickly retaliated and closed to within 0.8sec of Dovizioso.
The chance for a victory pass never came and de Puniet instead fell victim to Edwards at the final turn of the race, but was more than happy with third and the first podium by a satellite Honda rider since Dovizioso in last year's Malaysian Grand Prix.
“It's like a dream for me and the Team!” smiled Randy. “It has been a very stressful race and I was very nervous on the grid as the conditions were pretty bad. I got a good start on slick tyres and was very aggressive in the first laps. I got the sixth place but the gap on the front riders was too wide and I thought to keep my pace without taking any risk.
“Elias crashed in front of me and Pedrosa did not seem very confident on his machine. When he started to loose time I took my chance to pass him and we battled for several laps. I could overtake him as my machine was a bit faster and suddenly realised that I was holding the third position.
“After Rossi's crash I took second, remaining focused as the surface was very slippery. Then Edwards came up quickly giving me the chance to reduce the gap on Dovizioso but it was too late and too dangerous so I kept my position and we battled for the second place until the last corner.
“I am so happy for this result and want to thank everybody especially Lucio [Cecchinello – team manager]. We are sharing an amazing moment together!” he concluded.
de Puniet is now eighth position in the championship, seven places higher than he finished the 2008 season.