Dani Pedrosa claimed his 78th grand prix podium - but first ever in the wet - with a second place finish in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard shot past pole sitter Valentino Rossi into turn one, with the Italian then running wide as he attempted to outbrake the Repsol Honda rider.

But another opponent soon emerged, with Casey Stoner snatching the lead from Pedrosa before the end of the first lap and disappearing into the distance.

Despite pressure from Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and then a recovering Rossi, Pedrosa held second place to the finish - where he was 14.666sec behind Stoner's Ducati and 4.719sec ahead of Rossi's Yamaha.

"Riding in the rain has always been one of my weakest points and so for a long time I have tried to improve this by working hard and going over my limit in the wet. This hasn't been an easy process, but now, finally, I achieved a podium in the wet so I'm really happy and I want to thank all the people who have helped in this process," said Dani.

"In the middle of the race Andrea was just behind and he was closing and was putting some pressure on me, but I was riding well and I was able to keep my focus and concentration.

"Finally when Andrea went off, another rider was coming and this time it was Valentino. He was going quite a lot faster than me, but in the last laps I kept my rhythm and was able to finish in second place. I'm very happy today.

"I also want to congratulate Valentino on the world championship - nine titles is amazing," concluded Pedrosa after his fourth podium in a row and tenth from the 16 rounds.

"Dani's podium in these wet conditions was a significant milestone for him and also a good result for the team," added team manager Kazuhiko Yamano. "Dani is having a strong finish to the season and now he will have a lot of confidence going into the final race at Valencia because that's another track at which he usually performs very well."

Pedrosa will start the final round eleven points behind third in the championship Stoner, but with Honda eleven points ahead of Ducati for second in the Constructors' championship and Repsol Honda eleven points clear of Ducati Marlboro for second in the Teams' championship.

Meanwhile, Dovizioso's accident means he will need to protect a slim four-point lead over Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards to secure fifth in the Riders' world championship standings at Valencia.

"I was riding close to the limit and was closing on Dani - and I definitely had my sights set on the podium finish," said Dovi. "Then, during the 15th lap, the front turned more quickly than usual and it tucked. It's a shame today because I was feeling good on the machine and I really wanted this result for myself and the team. However, we'll come back fighting for the final race of the year at Valencia."