Dani Pedrosa labelled his second place finish at the Catalunya MotoGP as 'very important' after the Repsol Honda rider maintained his championship lead in Spain.

Pedrosa fended off a fierce challenge from team-mate Marc Marquez to take the runner-up spot behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and leads the series by a reduced deficit of seven points after six rounds.

He became the youngest rider ever to reach the milestone of 200 Grand Prix starts in Barcelona at the age of 27 years, 260 days.

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Pedrosa stayed in second place for the duration of the 25-lap race, holding station on the penultimate lap when Marquez attempted a pass on the brakes, forcing the series rookie into a mistake as his RC213V bucked and weaved underneath him.

"Today was a bit of a strange race. We could not get maximum performance and physically it was very hard, because of the heat of the bike and the tyres," said Pedrosa.

"When I tried to open the throttle the bike wobbled in the front and I had to be very careful.

"We three frontrunners were battling the track conditions today.

"It was a bit disappointing not to be able to push more, since the differences between us all was minimal," he added.

"We rode practically the entire race without any overtaking."

Pedrosa smashed Casey Stoner's 2008 record at Catalunya to seal pole position and admitted he expected more from today's race based on that performance.

"It was very easy to make a mistake and in fact, on the closing laps, Marc made one and I had a slide, but in the end we were able to take a very important second place," he said.

"We expected to do better after yesterday, but we now have an extra 20 points and we continue to lead the standings."

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