Dani Pedrosa made a major breakthrough in a rain-lashed Malaysian MotoGP as the Spaniard celebrated his first ever wet weather premier class podium.
Wet weather riding has been a real weakness for the triple world champion, but he rode a confident and assured race to claim second in front of Valentino Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha.
First into the opening corner, Pedrosa quickly succumbed to the blistering early pace set by Aussie Casey Stoner.
But he was easily able to stretch away from the chasing pack and a podium was virtually assured when Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso tumbled out of third place on lap 15.
That left Pedrosa to fend off Rossi, which he duly did with a series of fast laps in the closing stages, to score his fourth successive rostrum finish.
Ecstatic at finally ending his dismal rain record, the 23-year-old said: “I’m very happy because it’s my first podium in the wet. Always it’s been one of my weakest points, so I always try to improve and work hard and try to be better and go over my limits in the wet.
"It’s never been easy to me so I just kept trying and trying and finally I’ve got a podium. After all this hard work I’m very happy, and also I want to thank all the people that helped in this process to come to this podium.”
Pedrosa said he was worried about how quickly Rossi had chased him down, but he was satisfied to have responded well and clung on for a hard earned second spot.
“In the middle of the race I had Dovizioso just behind and he was putting some pressure on me. But I was quite focused and I was riding well, so I just kept my concentration and finally he crashed.
"Then Valentino was coming quite faster than me, but in the last laps I kept my rhythm and finally I took the second place.”
Pedross then passed on his congratulations to Rossi after the Italian’s recovery from 10th to third ensured he lifted his ninth career world title and seventh in MotoGP.
“I want to congratulate Valentino for the championship because to win nine times is amazing," added Pedrosa.