Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi hailed the Catalunya MotoGP as his best race of the season after the Italian legend plundered a fortuitous runner-up finish.

Rossi was there to pick up the pieces when Dani Pedrosa touched the rear of team-mate Marc Marquez's Repsol Honda on the final lap, running wide and leaving the door open for the nine-time world champion, who had been in contention for victory until he was passed by the pair in the closing laps.

The 35-year-old, who is second in the championship table after the first seven races - 58 points behind Marquez and five clear of Pedrosa - said: "It was the best race of the season and I enjoyed it very much. I'm very satisfied because yesterday in the qualifying I was able to do a very good lap but I didn't feel confident with the bike.

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"Also my pace was not at the level of the first three, but the bike today I like a lot more; we had a lot more feel with the front and in the warm-up I was strong and fast. Unfortunately at the end I made a small mistake [in morning warm-up], but I was confident I could do a quick race.

"To start from the top five is okay and I knew I could push from the beginning because I am strong," he added. "The temperature helped us a lot, if it was hotter I don't think we could arrive near the Honda.

"With some laps to go I started to feel the taste of victory because I felt very confident with the bike and I was ready to battle with Marc and Dani.

"But when Marc overtook me I was not on line to overtake back and when Dani overtook me they were a bit faster than me. In the end it was impossible for me to come back; it's a small shame but I am so happy for the race."

Rossi will be optimistic of taking the fight to Marquez in two weeks' time at Assen, where he claimed his first MotoGP victory since 2010 last June.

"Assen last year was fantastic for me but fortunately this year I am stronger almost everywhere," said Rossi.

"Assen is a track I like very much and it is good for the Yamaha, but we need to see what season it is because it could be wet or it could be dry but we will try to give the maximum and try to beat Marc."

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At least a real race. If Rossi is among the pigeons racing is always top!

A little bit of a pity that the Honda's and their jockeys are so fast on the straight and seem to have the better tire management. The 3 km/h were certainly not a disadvantage and the final laps showed the wobbling Yamaha grasping desperately for grip. Substract 2x3=6 km/h of Top speed to put the Honda where the Yamaha is now and restart the race :-)