MotoGP

MotoGP: Laguna Seca Rider Comment

Find out who said what about who after the weekend's USGP at Laguna Seca

SPANISH SMURF Dani Pedrosa was quick to admit he wasn't aware arch rival Valentino Rossi was so close, after the mini-GP racer eased off on the final lap of yesterday's race at Laguna Seca.

Pedrosa started the last lap with a 2.5 second lead over reigning World Champion Rossi, but the deficit was cut to just 0.3 seconds at the chequered flag, after the Spaniard throttled off, thinking he'd done enough to secure the win.

Fortunately for the Smurf, Rossi's last corner overtaking attempt was just a touch too far for the Italian maestro, who ended the race in second place.

Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda - 1st

“This is a fantastic win for us and it’s a great feeling after such a long time without a victory. The start to the season has been really difficult and actually it’s been tough since Sachsenring last year because I’ve had a lot of injuries and I haven’t been able to ride at 100 per cent for a long time, or train properly. But my team and Honda never gave up and I’d like to thank everyone who’s been working really hard to help me get back to this position. I’d also like to thank the doctors who have treated me because there have been quite a few of them! I got a good start, I was able to get into a good rhythm straight away and my pace was a little better than in practice. Perhaps my only mistake here was to slow down too much on the last lap because I didn’t realise how close Valentino was. Anyway, it was a great race, a great day and it’s a great feeling. Now I just want to focus on each race and get the best results possible. There’s a long way to go in the championship but there’s also a big gap to the leaders so I’m just going to take it one race at a time.”

Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha - 2nd

“The first half of the race was quite difficult because we weren’t at 100% today. I didn’t expect Dani to be so fast but he was very strong and there wasn’t much I could do to go with him! The last ten laps were very exciting because Lorenzo was pushing me so hard that I had to really make another step and then Dani slowed down and suddenly he was right in front of me! I thought there was a chance to pass on the final corner but unfortunately I was just too far off and it was too much of a risk. Second is good today because we were not in perfect shape here, we missed something in the setting and this is always a hard track anyway, so we have to be happy with these twenty points. We have extended the championship lead so it’s a good result for us and we have shown that we are still strong this year even when things are not perfect. This consistency is the most important thing for the championship. Now I am happy that we have some time to rest because these have been a hard two weeks and the next two races are very important because we are all so close!”

Jorge Lorenzo - Fiat Yamaha - 3rd

“I always try to do my best and I think that is what I have done today, considering my physical condition. I am really proud and I think that this was one of my best races. My foot was okay but I had a lot of pain in my right shoulder, which meant I wasn’t strong in my right hand and I had to over-compensate with my left; I am really tired now! I want to thank the Clinica Mobile because they made it possible for me to finish the race. After a while I started to forget about the pain a bit and I just wanted to do my best and I knew that it was possible to pass Valentino. Unfortunately I hit some bumps when I braked deep and my rear tyre moved a lot and I was lucky not to crash – maybe without this mistake, if I had been able to pass him, it would have been possible to win but anyway third is good in the circumstances and we have taken good points. Now we have some time to recover; I am fit and strong so I hope that by Sachsenring I will be back to my best.”

Casey Stoner - Ducati - 4th

“It has been a weekend to forget. I can’t be happy with fourth place even if it has limited the damage to my championship chances. Today I didn’t feel as bad at the end of the race as I have done in the last two but I’m still not right. I found it really difficult to keep my concentration over the last few laps and I was in a bit of a daze by the end. My left arm was feeling really tired by the end because of the fact there are so many left-handers here and my left wrist still doesn’t have the full range of movement after my operation in the winter. I’m really disappointed because without all of these problems we could have done so much better. I want to thank the team for giving me a great bike and also Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena and our physiotherapist Freddie (Dente) for all their help. Now we’ll focus on trying to find out the root of the problem because racing in this condition is not much fun.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati - 5th

“I have won here twice and to say that fifth place feels just as good might sound strange but man, so much hard work has gone into getting us to this point and I want to savour this feeling. To be racing at home, to score a solid result and to have had fun out there is nice. I just want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to my whole team, to Ducati and to everybody who has continued to believe in me during some difficult times this season. We have made progress over the last two races, we have kept the faith and it has paid off with this fifth place. Hopefully we can keep it going and score even better results as the season progresses.”

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