By Stephen English

Dani Pedrosa felt that his cautious approach at the start of Sunday's Spanish MotoGP cost him the chance to challenge Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo for the victory.

Pedrosa made his customary quick start and led on the opening lap, but was unwilling to push hard in the early stages because of the treacherous damp patches.

"I was too cautious in the beginning," admitted the Repsol Honda rider. "I saw the Moto2 and Moto3 races and [there were] many crashes on the wet patches."

Pedrosa dropped to fifth and, after taking nine laps to dispense with Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, the gap to the leading pair proved too great for Pedrosa to bridge.

"Jorge and Casey made a big gap," said Pedrosa. "When I got past Nicky and Andrea I was too far behind. I started to push harder and harder but I lost the front a few times on fast corners.

"It was difficult to keep the concentration because Crutchlow was on a hard front tyre and he was pushing me a lot, braking harder in the last laps."

Pedrosa closed to within two-seconds of team-mate Stoner and a home victory as he pushed to hold off Crutchlow.

Podiums in both of the opening races of the season mean Pedrosa has made a solid start to the 2012 championship, "Overall it's been a good start to the season and the championship looks very interesting!"

With Estoril the next venue on the calendar Pedrosa can look forward to a track where he won at last year.