Dani Pedrosa claimed only his second podium finish of the 2016 MotoGP season at the end of an emotional day in Catalunya.
Countryman Luis Salom lost his life in Friday practice for the Moto2 class and the event would have been cancelled had Salom's family not stated that it should continue.
A minute's silence was then held on the main straight on Sunday morning, with t-shirts in Salom's memory being worn on the podium.
“Very difficult weekend, but at the end we continued the grand prix because of his family. They wanted us to continue and I tried to give the best effort for him and his family,” declared Pedrosa.
“When we were in the minute of silence, with all the riders and all the people from the paddock there, it was very touching. You see how important and how much the risk is there, so just ask the fans to give us all the respect from the first to the last rider because we all try our best to do a great show for them and us.
“So the minute of silence was very, very emotional and we finished the day with these t-shirts, but especially with his memory in our hearts for always.”
Pedrosa was one of only four riders to choose the medium compound rear tyre, rather than the hard.
“Yesterday I tried the hard tyre and as usual this year I cannot have any traction. Because of my characteristics, my weight or whatever, it's very difficult for me for try to work with the tyre.
“I knew everybody had picked the hard rear for the race. I was about to pick the same but at the last second I changed my mind and tried to do a different strategy.
“Unfortunately I braked a little bit too early in the first corner and I lost some positions. But in the first laps I was trying not to burn the tyre. I was there trying to keep the gap but not pushing too strong.”
But while Pedrosa was attempting to stay smooth, Suzuki's Maverick Vinales was on the attack.
“I was riding like this and Vinales was attacking me almost every corner, but unfortunately he picked the wrong place and he started passing in the chicane where there is only one line. We lost 1-1.5s there and that was the moment when I lost touch with the front group,” said the Repsol Honda star.
“Later on my rhythm was not so different. But with 5-6 laps to go the tyre was finished, but happy because in one way in Mugello we did a little step forward. Also again here and this is positive.”
Pedrosa, who crossed the line 6-seconds from Valentino Rossi and just under 4-seconds from team-mate Marc Marquez, revealed that he decided not to wait until Monday's official test to try some new parts.
“I did already some tests of the parts for Monday, because for me the race weekend is more interesting. Normally on Mondays the grip is very good after a race, you have more rhythm and the lap times sometimes come easier. So it's not only related to the parts.
“So testing in the race weekend against the other riders, in the race pace, is also sometimes very interesting. I don't know exactly what we have planned for tomorrow, what's left, but we will keep going.”
Pedrosa is fourth in the world championship, 43 points from new leader Marquez.