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Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was a surprise entrant to Q1 on Saturday, and the ‘Baby Samurai’ qualified in eighth once he’d moved through to Q2. But Sunday dawned a little warmer and the number 26 had a good strategy up his sleeve, slicing through the field with much improved pace to complete the podium.
Moving up slightly off the line, Pedrosa then kept calm and kept his head down, gradually catching and passing those ahead of him. First the Movistar Yamahas, then Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and finally early leader Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), he was by then just in sight of the duel for the lead - trying to stay on the pace but finding the front two just able to pull away. Nevertheless, Pedrosa was very happy with the podium after such a big turnaround on race day – and moved to within two points of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in the standings.
Dani Pedrosa, P3: “I’m happy because it was a difficult weekend ad we struggled a lot in practice without the correct feeling with the tyres all weekend. It was key to start well and we went for the hard rear – it was an interesting race for me because I had a good strategy, not fast in the beginning but with no mistakes so I could keep the right line and make some passes. Little by little I picked up the pace and got better feeling but I was struggling all weekend with the front locking and with rear spin, I didn’t have much feeling with the tyres but when I got to third I was happy enough – then these two started to fight I was closer and closer, but I had no drive to stay in touch after that. But I’m really happy to be on the podium.”
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