Despite being tipped as the pre-race favourite by many, including team-mate Marc Marquez, pole sitter Dani Pedrosa had to settle for third in his home Catalunya MotoGP.

The Repsol Honda star led during the middle stages, but couldn't shake Andrea Dovizioso and Marquez, who both moved ahead of him in the final nine laps.

"No, not really disappointed because overall it was a good weekend," insisted Pedrosa, who was thought to have the best tyre endurance for the roasting heat. "We managed a difficult weekend, got pole yesterday and compared to last weekend it's much better. I'm happy to be on the podium here in front of the crowd.

"Today was really difficult, I expected to be of course riding better, but unfortunately in the race time it was not the same feeling with the tyres, I could not manage to be a little faster.

"I was second or third, then went to the lead and tried to save the tyres. I could see all the time on the pit board the group pretty close and many times Dovi was coming alongside the straight and shutting on the gas not to pass. So I understood at this point it would be difficult for the win.

"I expected Marc to be the main rival for the race [win], me and him, but actually it was Andrea. So really surprised. It's obvious that today was not as good as yesterday so we had to manage. I crashed last weekend. I didn't want to crash in the race. I wanted to take the points.

"The feeling was not there and I'm happy for the points, the championship is really difficult - every week it's moving a lot. We can see Honda and Yamaha struggling more to keep the good and bad. The Ducatis are a little more stable. So for sure they are doing some good things.

"Tomorrow we have the test and we are looking forward to getting into that area and being more consistent each weekend."

Pedrosa is now fourth in the world championship, 27 points behind leader Maverick Vinales.

By Peter McLaren

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