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Dovizioso delighted with podium, Pedrosa outlines task ahead

Dovizioso delighted with podium, Pedrosa outlines task ahead

The Italian rider was delighted with his third-placed finish in Qatar, as his Repsol Honda team-mate finished seventh.

Andrea Dovizioso secured the third MotoGP podium of his career on Sunday at the opening race of the 2010 season in Qatar, and was delighted to get his campaign off to a solid start.

The Italian climbed from sixth place on the starting grid and at one point led the race briefly, battling with eventual winner Valentino Rossi. He edged a thrilling dash for the finish line with Nicky Hayden to ensure third place, as his RC212V powered him past the chequered flag at just 0.011s ahead of the American.

“I’m really happy about this podium - it’s a great satisfaction,” said the Italian. “It was so important to begin the season with a good result and I hope this is just the start. Today’s podium is the result of the hard work done by Honda, the technicians, the team and myself during the winter.”

Dovizioso continued: “Today I really believed I could get second position and it was a pity that I couldn’t keep it until the very end. My start was not so good but the first five laps were crucial for me to recover positions and glue myself behind Valentino. My Honda was very fast on the straight and I could use this advantage to compensate for our weaker points on the track.”

“I did a masterpiece in the last corner of the last lap where I overtook Nicky on the inside and then I used all the power of the RC212V to get to the line first. Tonight I raced with my heart, and this result is a good motivation for myself and everyone in the Repsol Honda Team.”

His team-mate Pedrosa, who finished the race in seventh place having competed at the top end of the field for the early part of the contest, was pragmatic about his result.

He said: “I made a good start and was able to stay at or near the front of the race for the first few laps. It really wasn’t easy though and we had a few handling issues with the machine that meant unfortunately it was impossible for me to maintain that pace. I fought as hard as I could to hold off the other riders but in the end there was no way I could keep them behind.”

“On the one hand it’s encouraging that we could achieve this early pace because the winter testing has not been easy, but on the other it proves we still have a lot of work to do to get the machine the way I need. This isn’t the ideal start to the season and I’d hoped to be able to fight for a podium here, but it’s a long season and we’ll stay focused and work as hard as possible to improve things.”

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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