Dani Pedrosa voiced his pleasure at “a very good weekend” at Aragon, which resulted in a combative charge through the top six to claim a fighting second place.

Judging by pace in Saturday’s fourth free practice session, Pedrosa went into Sunday’s outing among the pre-race favourites, but found his early efforts to climb the order frustrated by a late-braking Maverick Viñales.

However, from lap three, each of Pedrosa’s remaining laps were in the 1m 49s, the fastest of which coming just four from the chequered flag, as he attempted to reel in team-mate and title leader Marc Marquez.

“I think we have to be happy because we did overall a very good weekend,” said the 31-year old. “We were there all weekend. This is very positive for the team. I would say maybe the worst moment was yesterday in qualifying but apart from that we worked very well. Last year we had terrible race, but this time we were very competitive.

“So, unfortunately I would say, the beginning of the race, I don't know exactly why around the second lap, maybe the group was cut, I don't know why this happen. I was in the second group.

“Unfortunately, I was on the left and my start when I arrive to the corner which is close to the start line, I couldn’t really make any improvements. The guys from the outside were faster and then the right corner, they were in front.

“Then, I was cut there and I was behind Maverick. I chose the medium rear. Yesterday I tried the hard, and I was able also to use the hard, but I was more comfortable in the medium. So finally today after this morning I decide to ride on the medium. But I knew I had to little bit try to manage.

“At the beginning I was trying to stay calm on the gas. Maverick was also in the medium, so I thought maybe we were in the same kind of strategy because at this time in the front group it was a mix. There was guys going fast with the soft and also with the hard. So, I was confused in which way the race will develop later.

“But, I tried to pass Maverick but he was very fast in the straight line and very fast into the corners. Then I couldn’t find any room to make a pass. He was not really mistaking until one time I forced him to mistake. Then I was in front and I could start recovering. I could see then that my pace was way faster.

“Unfortunately I had to recover that gap, but it was nice because I could recover, feel well, although I was on the limit with the front a little bit on the soft, but we know the hard option was too hard on the right side. I think in this track would be better to have like a dual in the hard option, dual compound.

“But we didn’t try yesterday and we saw Marc and Cal crashing with the hard, so finally we had to manage today the tires a lot. But positive because it’s always good when you pass the other riders. It was close with Valentino, too close. But apart from that, very happy.”

The result sees Pedrosa climb above Valentino Rossi for fourth in the championship standings, 54 points back of Marquez. The Catalan admitted the title race was not at the forefront of his mind coming into this weekend.

“For sure, like I said all the weekend, for the championship is very complicated,” he said. “I’m looking for the performance of the weekend. Today like I said, before this race our goal in the team was to be in the podium, fight for the victory. So, when I passed Rossi I just was looking ahead to win the race and finish in the podium.”


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