Valencia MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa had an exclusive ringside seat as team-mate Marc Marquez dramatically saved a huge moment with eight laps to go in the title decider in Spain.

Marquez, who retained the world title after finishing third at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, almost slid out of the race moments after passing Johann Zarco for the lead. The Repsol Honda rider went into Turn 1 hard on the brakes and tucked the front, but yet again the Spaniard defied the odds to stay on the bike, running into the gravel before re-joining the race.

Pedrosa, who went on to claim his second victory of the season after getting the better of Zarco, saw the dramatic incident unfold in front of him and said it was ‘amazing to see live’.

“I could see that Marc was looking behind so maybe he was not at the maximum and at the end, with six or seven laps to go, he tried to go for the win and then he slide, which was amazing to see from behind,” he said.

“You can see the black line, the position, the smoke and the speed and you go, Oh! Then at the same time you see that he is not crashing, so amazing to see the save live.”

Pedrosa played a brilliant supporting role in the race as he acted as a buffer between Marquez and his sole title rival Andrea Dovizioso, who was seemingly held up behind his Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

However, after Marquez dropped back following his near-miss and Dovizioso ran off the track before slipping off in the gravel, Pedrosa seized his chance to challenge for the victory.

“Today was a great day because the feeling was great to be back with a victory and this is important for my team, my fans and my family and friends, to finish like this. In many races I had to struggle a lot and bad days are difficult so today to give that happiness to them is great,” Pedrosa said.

“The team has won the Constructors and also the Team Championship and also today Marc the Riders Championship, so it is amazing overall and also because we did a solid race today.

“We struggled a lot of times during the year to make a victory. We had good practices to be in the podium and be close to victory sometimes, but Marc and Dovizioso had a better advantage overall to make victory, but today we achieved a second victory and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Pedrosa made a flying start from the second row of the grid but he was unable to match the pace of Marquez and Zarco on the opening laps, who were both using the soft rear Michelin tyre.

“My intention was to arrive first to the first corner and I did a good start. I was with the medium in the rear so I knew the first laps would maybe be a little bit difficult because they were using the soft – that’s why I wanted to go first,” he said.

“Once I got past Zarco and [Andrea] Iannone suddenly Marc appeared and I had to catch a little bit, but I was comfortable and I think Marc was warming up well the tyres and not pushing too strong.

“Immediately on the second lap Johann passed me and he started to go faster than the rhythm we did in the first laps. The front was starting to close so much and I was struggling to have good feeling in the front and I lost some metres with them,” he added.

“I tried to manage, to see with after less petrol if the feeling improved, but it didn’t really change much so I tried to go again to get in touch with them.”

Once the opportunity arose to end the season with a win, Pedrosa – who finished fourth overall in the championship – tried to ride as fast and safely as he could before making a decisive pass on Zarco into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap.

“For the last laps I tried to go in the same pace because I understood that when you tried harder today the front was giving up and many crashes were happening also,” he said.

“I just tried to be the fastest and safest but I had to pass Johann and I had a few moments. At the end I could manage to win the race.”



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