Valentino Rossi produced an overtaking masterclass today to finish second in the Catalunya MotoGP clash.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Rossi needed just nine laps to fight his way through the field into second place.
But by the time he’d battled in front of reigning world champion Casey Stoner, closest title rival Dani Pedrosa was cruising away at the front to his second win of the campaign.
Rossi surrendered second to a hard-charging Stoner on lap 17 but regained the position two laps from the end as his Aussie rival struggled with rear grip.
“I think that this was quite a good race!”said Rossi. It’s a long time since we’ve had a good fight for the top positions like that and today it was like last year with Stoner, but for second instead of first place!
"I was able to come out on top this year and I am honestly very happy with today’s result. After three almost perfect races, yesterday was a very hard day for us but last night we had a very good meeting and today we were able to be much more competitive. My target was the podium so to come second is excellent.
"I want to watch the race on TV now because I had a lot of fun today and made some good overtakes, with my M1 and my Bridgestone tyres working very well to the end. Once I passed Stoner I tried to go away from him but it wasn’t possible, so then I knew it would be a great battle to the end.
"Pedrosa was incredibly strong today and I think it’s impossible to say whether or not I could have gone with him even if I had started from the front. As it was we were penalised by our grid position and, with Pedrosa as fast as this, from the third row it was impossible.
"In these circumstances I am very happy that we only lost five points to him, we’re still leading the championship and I had a great race, so I am content! Tomorrow we will have a test and I think it will be quite interesting to see what we can find out about what happened this weekend and how we can improve for Donington.
"Thanks to all my team and congratulations to Dani.”