After qualifying third, then leapfrogging team-mate Nicky Hayden at the start, Pedrosa looked well positioned to challenge Casey Stoner for victory. Instead, the 21-year-old struggled to generate heat in his tyres and slipped quickly back to fifth. When his Michelins warmed, Pedrosa passed Loris Capirossi for fourth place on lap five - but had failed to better that position when the chequered flag was waved 17 laps later.

"I'm frustrated after the race today because I didn't feel like we could use all the potential of our package," explained Dani, who finished nearly three seconds behind third placed Hayden. "For the first few laps I couldn't get enough heat into the rear tyre which meant I wasn't able to maintain my position and I was passed by a few riders. Then after four or five laps I could feel more heat in the tyre but by this time the leaders had gone, and Nicky too.

"I pushed as hard as I could for the whole race but the lap times just weren't there and my pace was slowing steadily. I'm frustrated because we haven't made the improvements in the package I was hoping for. We must work hard during the test over the next two days. Obviously, to fight for the title is very difficult, but I'm not going to give up this season. We have to try to keep the third place in the championship and at the same time try to go forward into second," explained the former 125 and 250cc world champion, now a reduced 18 points behind Valentino Rossi in the championship.