Dani Pedrosa surprised himself with his end-of-race pace as the Repsol Honda finally put the conclusion of his battle for second place with Valentino Rossi to bed in emphatic style.

Pedrosa passed Rossi for the first time into Turn 12 on lap 17 but although he quickly opened an advantage of a few tenths over the Yamaha, Rossi regrouped and battled back to within striking distance of the runner-up spot six laps from the finish.

However, Pedrosa injected an explosion of pace in his final laps, leaving Rossi powerless to stop the Honda rider disappearing into the distance as he sealed second position by more than three seconds.

Related Articles

"It was a good finish for me because it is the first race of the season that I finish close to the top, so I am happy for that," Pedrosa said.

"Also overall the weekend was good, the practice, my start was good finally. At the beginning I couldn't really push strong and I was fourth in the group and Marc start to go. I couldn't really push my bike to make a pass and go with him.

"So then I tried to fight with the Yamahas and tried to finish second and then surprising for me, at the end I start to become more strong and I could finish in a good way," he added.

"This track is a little bit more of a relief to the right arm because of all the long left corners, but of course being at the front at this pace for all the race is the best training, so it's perfect to get more fitness for the next GPs."