Dani Pedrosa praised Valentino Rossi after the Italian narrowly claimed the final podium spot in an engrossing late MotoGP race scrap at Indianapolis.

Fast throughout the weekend, Pedrosa's morning warm up pace suggested he would be a leading contender to challenge team-mate Marc Marquez in the 27-lap race.

Come the race however, Pedrosa was unable to match Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo and his attention soon shifted to defending his third place from an advancing Rossi.

Related Articles

The championship leader finally made his move on lap 18 and although Pedrosa was able to respond, he couldn't make a pass stick, despite feeling his pace was better than that of Rossi's.

Such was the jump in the Italian's pace overnight, Pedrosa was taken aback and was only too happy to praise his fellow competitor.

"It was quite tough today because Valentino was way quicker in the race than in practice - like 0.6/7s faster," said an upbeat Pedrosa. "To improve that much is quite impressive. Also at least sometimes you can do it at the beginning of the race, you can improve, but he stayed quite constant and strong all the race.

"But I think at the very end, like the last six laps, I was faster. When I make the move then I also immediately made a mistake at turn ten. He re-passed me and kind of got a little bit stronger when he was in front. When I ride behind it's more difficult sometimes. I could regroup and get back on him in the last laps but Rossi is always strong in the last lap.

"Unfortunately it didn't come out in the way I wanted but I just missed the podium. It's not good but anyway we have to work. I learnt a lot in this race. I hope I can come back strong in the next week where I won my last race. I hope we can repeat it."

While Marquez and Lorenzo continued to reel off a succession of high 1m 32s laps close to the end of the race, Pedrosa was just a fraction slower.

Still, all of his flying laps were in the 33s or 32s and the four-time world champion was pleased with his pace towards the end of the race, which was underlined by his personal best lap, set three laps from the chequered flag.

"[I learnt] The way to ride the bike. This year I struggle with the setting and I struggle to have the perfect pace, the fast pace. Always I miss out by 0.2 or 0.3. in the last laps I can find myself back with the bike more comfortable riding.

"During the race I had several different stages when I was on the limit or more comfortable. At the end I could feel more integrated with the bike so this gives me some motivation for the next week."

The race took place in grueling heat and humidity and the hot pace of the leading two left Pedrosa physically exhausted come the close of the 27 laps.

"It was really hot and humid and this track is quite physical with the changes of direction because they are quite fast. I think this race was very physical, especially at that pace because no lap we gave up a little to rest. Every lap was 100 percent. Maybe one time the lap time wasn't perfect but the effort was always there."

When asked how his arm held up under the conditions, he said, "I was quite happy. I could focus more on riding than my arm so this was very positive."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

lux: "despite feeling his pace was better than that of Rossi's"

Such a classical Rossi's magic to manage to stay in front of quicker riders.

I remember Crutchlow's on Rossi's first year back in Yamaha: "I felt I was always a bit faster but Rossi always finished in front".

Not Rossi magic, just really good race craft.
I think all the racers here have experienced the same .