Despite leading for 25 of the 30 laps and crossing the line 5.447secs ahead of world champion Casey Stoner, Pedrosa was kept under pressure by the Australian for all but the closing laps, when Stoner finally settled for second.

"I really wanted to win this race very much and so actually achieving it feels fantastic," smiled Pedrosa, after celebrating with 132,500 delirious home fans. "The race was very tough and I had to push at the maximum from start to finish. In the early laps I was struggling a little with grip from the front tyre but then in the second half of the race the grip was very good.

"The pace today was really fast and Casey was chasing hard so there was no moment to relax or back off. Towards the end of the race I was sliding in some of the left-handers but I was still able to push hard. I must say thanks to the team because they have worked very hard for me this weekend and all year and the bike was perfect today. Also I must thank Michelin too because the tyres were very good today."

Valentino Rossi needed to score just one point to prevent Pedrosa taking second in the championship, but the injured Italian retired from Sunday's race.

"I didn't know until I arrived in parc ferme that I had second in the world championship and this was a nice surprise," said Dani, the only RC212V rider to win a race this season, first at the Sachsenring and now Valencia. "I didn't expect this because there was only a very, very slim chance of taking second coming into this weekend. After quite a difficult season second place is better than third and gives the Repsol Honda Team some reward for sticking with it and never giving up this year.

"It will give us even more motivation for winter testing because we must now take another step forward so that we can arrive at the first race of 2008 with the best possible package. I think the crowd has enjoyed this weekend and I'm very proud to have given my fans a great result at my home circuit it's a great feeling!"

Pedrosa and team-mate Nicky Hayden are expected to test Honda's 2008 RC212V, rumoured to feature pneumatic valves, on Tuesday and Wednesday at Valencia.

 

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