Dani Pedrosa might have fallen further behind dominant factory Honda teammate Marc Marquez in the 2013 MotoGP hunt in Brno yesterday (Sunday), but the Spaniard was just relieved to be back in the battle for victories.
Pedrosa failed to stop Marquez becoming the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2008 to win four premier class races in a row by just 0.313s.
His disappointment at not claiming only a third win of the campaign was countered by his relief that he was back to something close to his best form after an injury-ravaged spell.
Pedrosa was leading the title challenge when he broke his left collarbone in an unfortunate practice crash at the Sachsenring in Germany last month.
And while Marquez has amassed a maximum 100-points in the last four races, Pedrosa has collected just 51.
Pedrosa might have given Marquez a stronger challenge for the victory had he been able to pass the impressive Jorge Lorenzo sooner than with just three laps remaining.
He told MCN: “I think if I could have passed Jorge one lap earlier I could have been right with Marc on the last lap. I don’t know what would have been the result because Marc was so strong in the fight. For the whole race Marc was very strong in braking and also on the edge in the middle of the corner.
"The key point for me was the start. I made a mistake and was already behind them and Marc lost touch with Jorge and at that stage I was faster but I couldn’t really pass.”
Pedrosa’s challenge appeared to stutter at one stage while he tweaked electronic maps to try and get a better drive accelerating out of corners and he added: “With the new tyres I could stay on the edge but when the tyre started to drop down I wasn’t able to carry the same corner speed as Marc and Jorge.
"I started to drop back with about nine laps to go because I started to play with the mapping and trying to get some different line to keep the drive out of the corner. Then I could recover the gap but the problem for me was that I couldn’t really make a pass as I was not so strong in braking.
"My exit was not really good so I wasn’t really close enough in the braking. It is a pity but inside I feel very good because for a long time I didn’t have the chance to win the race due to the injury and here I could go out and attack and this is positive.
"I still have some pain in my left arm compared to the right but it worked well and I think I can do some good races now.”
For reaction to the Brno round and a 16-page preview ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, see the August 28 issue of Motor Cycle News.