Pramac Ducati's Ben Spies hailed his tenth place result in the opening round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar as 'the best tenth place I've had in my life'.
The former Factory Yamaha rider had hurt his shoulder in a spill during practice and doubted he would be fit enough to finish the race, however Spies soldiered on to break into the top ten on the satellite machine, one position behind team-mate Andrea Iannone.
“It was the best tenth place I've ever had in my life,” said the Ignite PRT rider.
“The race was good. We get off to a good start, but I knew I couldn't run with a good pace for a long time.
“I was actually worried before the race, because after yesterday's crash and straining my shoulder in practice, I didn't think we'd be able to finish.
“Once I saw that the top ten wasn't impossible, I just pushed as hard as I could, and I was able to make it,” added Spies.
“I just want to thank the guys for doing everything they could to make the bike easier to ride, and I was happy.
“We finished the first race, and that's the most important.”
Series rookie Iannone on the Energy T.I. PRT machine took ninth place behind the factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso
and Nicky Hayden.
The Italian had hoped to keep pace with Hayden for longer but arm pump later in the race hampered his progress.
“It was really difficult with my arm. We tried injections because that was probably the only way to relieve the pain, but after just four laps I couldn't take it anymore,” said Iannone.
“I'm sorry because I thought I could have stayed with Nicky for a bit longer, but I realised that I couldn't manage it.
“I also began losing grip pretty early, after just six laps.
“I had tried to change the bike settings to see if the situation would improve, but it didn't happen, so I just raced in pain,” he added.
“I'm satisfied though, as we're in the top ten, and we'll see if we can close the gap in the future.”
Francesco Guidotti, Pramac Racing team manager, said he was 'very satisfied' with the efforts of his riders.
“Overall, it was a positive weekend, as we get a lot of satisfaction from putting both of our riders in the top ten despite both riders' physical conditions.
“Ben is still suffering from the injury to his right shoulder, and Andrea had a problem with his arm that he had never experienced in the tests,” said Guidotti.
“I would like to thanks the Mobile Clinic for having help both riders. I would say we're very satisfied.”