Andrea Dovizioso's hopes of challenging for the runners-up spot in the 2011 MotoGP World Championship were given a boost at Brno with a strong run to second, a result that closes the gap to Jorge Lorenzo.
The Repsol Honda rider has been an example of consistency this year, finishing all but one race inside the top five, performances that place him a comfortable third heading into the second-half of the year.
Though he is yet to taste the winners' champagne this season, Dovizioso's second place – from seventh on the grid - marks his fifth trip to the podium and puts him 23 points behind Lorenzo in the overall standings.
“I'm really happy to be back on the podium, it's a good result after a difficult weekend and second position is so important for the Championship,” the Italian said. “In the warm-up we made some small changes and my feeling improved. I arrived at the race very determined and I made a very good start from seventh position.
“In the first laps I was riding cautiously to save the tyres. I had good pace and when Dani crashed I tried to stay with Casey but I made a mistake at turn 13 and I almost went off the track. I lost contact and from that moment Casey built a gap that was impossible to catch. I'm happy of how I managed the race first with Lorenzo and then with Simoncelli to maintain second position.
“In the final five laps I pushed harder, lapping under 1'58 to maintain the margin from Marco. I didn't want to fight with him in the last corners. I want to thank Honda and the team for the good work, despite the fact that we struggled slightly over the weekend, we have demonstrated one more time that in the race we are there and I'm really looking forward to Indy in two weeks' time.”