Having qualified just seventh on the grid, Dani Pedrosa admitted to being pleasantly surprised by his performance in Saturday's Dutch TT.
The Repsol Honda rider pressured Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo for the lead for the first half of the race, setting the fastest race lap in the process, before Lorenzo's harder rear tyre choice helped him pull away.
Pedrosa likewise dropped Ducati's Casey Stoner and is now back up to second in the championship, albeit 47 points behind Lorenzo.
“Well first of all I have to say I'm surprised by this result because, I tell you, in practice we had a lot of problems and we tried so many things that didn't work, so I wasn't expecting to get second today or to have this pace,” confessed Pedrosa, the only non-Yamaha winner of the year at Mugello.
“For the warm-up we found something which gave us a better lap time and my rhythm improved a lot, which gave us the chance to fight in the race. I knew with the soft rear Bridgestone tyre that I would have more of an advantage in the first part of the race and so I pushed really hard from the start to catch up [to Lorenzo]. But then I began losing a little bit of time in the first section of the circuit and lap-by-lap we lost touch.
“Anyway, this is a good result for us and I'd like to say thanks to my team because they never gave up. I'm back into second in the world championship but actually I'm more pleased with second in this race. Now we go straight to Catalunya for my home GP and I hope we can have a good race there too.”
Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso had to be content with beating satellite RCV rider Randy de Puniet for fifth, in a battle that went down to the final turn.
“We had higher expectations for today's race and so I'm a little disappointed with how things went,” said the Italian. “I made a good start and moved up to fourth but I couldn't ride the laps under 1m 35s that were needed to stay with the leaders. We weren't at 100% with the front-end feeling which meant I couldn't ride as aggressively as I wanted.
“Having said that, we could have finished in fourth today, but in the battle with Randy we lost time and Spies took advantage of our duel to get a gap. Considering how Dani's and Casey's soft tyres worked, our choice of the hard compound Bridgestone was perhaps not the perfect one today.
“Anyway, we have to learn from this and I'm looking forward to Barcelona - it's a track that I really like. Today's race was disappointing, but with only five days before we get back out on track we won't have to wait long before we can make amends.”
Dovizioso is now four points behind Pedrosa in the championship.