Dani Pedrosa celebrated a 'special' victory at the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang to secure his third victory of the campaign, closing the gap to Jorge Lorenzo
in second place in the championship standings to 11 points.
It was Pedrosa's second successive victory at the Malaysian circuit after he also took the spoils in 2012.
The Spanish rider made amends after his championship hopes went up in smoke at Aragon in the previous round, where Pedrosa was fired off his Repsol Honda following contact with team-mate Marc Marquez, which disabled the traction control on his RC213V.
Pedrosa, though, has put the incident behind him and is now looking ahead to the final three races at Phillip Island, Motegi and Valencia.
“I am very happy with this win, as it is very special. My level of riding today was very good and the victory comes after a difficult week – in which I was laid up in bed and could hardly move,” he said.
“To come here and win is fantastic, so thanks to all my team.
“It hasn't been the best week but we can't look back any more. It's just a shame because we had a similar pace at the last race at Aragon so it could have been two in a row.”
Pedrosa took the lead from Jorge Lorenzo
at the end of lap five and went on to win by 2.7 seconds from Marquez, who increased his lead at the top of the series table to 43 points over Lorenzo.
“Today was a good day. We had a good pace and I enjoyed a lot riding at the front. My bike was working well. Both tyres were slippery but I could ride well all weekend.
“The first laps are always key, but I wanted to check the track a little and see how it feels. After that Jorge was also going fast but I tried to go in front and make a gap. I felt confident and had a good lead by the end, so I could manage and control the pace.
“The tyres were sliding a lot. It was nice!”
Not so nice are Pedrosa's championship chances. Despite the win he is 54 points from Marquez with just 75 still available.
“With Marc finishing on the podium every time it is very hard to take back any points. Focusing on each race is what we have to do.”