After a 'terrible' weekend in which he'd been no higher than seventh, Dani Pedrosa was battling for a podium in Sunday's Austin MotoGP...
...Until he lost control of his Repsol Honda while braking for Turn One, his bike then wiping out Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.
“The front locked as I went over the rise. I could feel it, save it, but the next time it was bigger and then I just lost the bike,” explained Pedrosa, who immediately rushed over to check on the Ducati rider and apologised again when the pair were back in the pits.
“Maybe I had a bit more [lean] angle, but this is what is takes with these tyres. They are very sensitive to what you do on the bike... I'm so sorry for Dovi because it's a shit feeling when [someone] takes you down and the impact was quite hard.”
Fortunately, Dovizioso escaped without serious injury - although Pedrosa warned it may have been worse had his Honda been fitted with the large winglets used by the likes of Ducati and Yamaha.
“It's lucky I don't have the big wings because there the wings can [hurt] the rider and I'm moving to stop this soon. Because we just saw in Argentina what happened with the wing of Andrea [Iannone], cutting the on-board [camera] of Marc [Marquez].
“That is quite strong so if you can cut that, it can cut something else. And like I said, today my impact was very strong to Dovi. I'm happy that he is okay and that my bike didn't give him any injury.”
The other positive was Pedrosa's turn of form in the race, which he credited to a change in riding style.
“The bike was the same as in practice, but I was just trying to ride it in a different way. I had to,” he said. “Just a different way of applying the power and a different way of turning the bike. It made me a little bit stronger but not everything, it is not all the way.
“But I've been struggling like crazy this weekend and I think I was able to finish second today. I had to go to the end, fight with Lorenzo and see how the tyre would last because I was using the soft rear. But I was there and in practice, no.
“I learned quite a lot in those [seven] laps, so I hope I can benefit from that at the next GP.”
Team-mate Marc Marquez dominated the COTA weekend for his fourth Texas victory in a row and now leads the world championship after three rounds.
Pedrosa, handed a podium after Dovizioso was taken out by team-mate Andrea Iannone at the previous Argentina round, is fifth in the standings.
“To have zero so early in the championship is not a good thing, but there can be many ups and downs in this championship. The situation with the bikes and tyres is very unstable depending on the race track. So we have to keep our head down and try to make a good race in Jerez.”
By Peter McLaren