Dani Pedrosa passed on his congratulations to fellow Spaniard and bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo after the Fiat Yamaha rider secured his first MotoGP world title in Malaysia yesterday.
Pedrosa’s injury absence after he smashed his left collarbone in a practice crash in Japan the previous week meant Lorenzo needed to score six-points in Sepang to become only the second rider in history to win the premier class title.
He duly obliged by taking third behind Valentino Rossi and Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in yesterday’s classic 20-lap race.
Pedrosa, who is planning a return to action in Phillip Island this weekend, said: “I think it's very good for Spain to have another world champion in the top class after Alex Crivillé's first title back in 1999. That was a long time ago… too long.
"So I'd like to say congratulations to Lorenzo today. He rode very well this year right from the beginning of the season and made very few mistakes - so he deserves the title.
"Of course, I would like to have been there today to try and keep the championship alive for a bit longer - even if we only had a very small chance of catching him. But it wasn't to be.
"My recovery and physiotherapy after the operation is continuing to go well, and I hope to feel good enough for Australia and to get back to the level we achieved recently for the last races of the season."
Find out why Pedrosa didn’t ride in Sepang and for lots more paddock reaction to Lorenzo’s title success, see Wednesday’s issue of Motor Cycle News.