Less than a week after wondering whether his recovering fractured left collarbone would withstand the physically demanding Brickyard track in Indianapolis, Dani Pedrosa was ecstatic after clinching a hard fought second behind dominant teammate Marc Marquez.
The broken left collarbone Pedrosa injured at Germany’s Sachsenring last month is still weak and the Spaniard has not been able to do anything like his normal physical preparation during a summer break in which he rested for the most part to give his shoulder the best chance to recover.
Pedrosa cut a delighted and relieved figure at the end of 27 gruelling laps as he kept his title hopes alive with a brave ride to second.
The Repsol Honda rider grabbed second off Yamaha rival Jorge Lorenzo with three laps to go and he remains within striking distance of compatriot Marquez, who took a third straight win in emphatic style.
Pedrosa now trails Marquez by 21-points and the triple world champion was more than happy when talking to MCN after the race.
He said: “I am delighted with this second. I knew at the beginning I could be there but I wasn’t sure how I’d be in the last part of the race. In Laguna I had much more pain and I was much more careful but here I wanted to try and be much more on the limit. But this race was more intense from the first lap and it was harder to keep the pace and when the tyres started to lose grip you have to be very agile on the bike to keep it well.
I almost couldn’t even control the wheelie when normally I am strong exiting the corner. I was fighting and trying to get my pace and in the last laps I had one bullet there and I pulled the trigger. I got second and that was the best I could get and I am very pleased and relived to be here. Sincerely I came here and I knew I would have less pain but all weekend I never felt very strong and ready for the race.
I’ve won here in the past and you have those good memories in your head and I didn’t feel that here.”
In the earlier post race press conference, Pedrosa has spoke of his surprise to finish second after medical checks in Spain on Monday had shown his left collarbone still wasn’t properly healed.
He said: “If you see the X-rays that I did Monday, you won't believe that I could do this race. And I'm surprised and I am very happy to be here because I was trying to manage the race.”
For more from Pedrosa in eight pages of MotoGP coverage, see the August 21 issue of MCN.