Pedrosa delighted to recover to third
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 17th 2009, 14:01 GMT|
Dani Pedrosa said he was relieved to make it back onto the podium in the French Grand Prix having lost a lot of ground in the wet part of the race.
The Honda rider had taken pole position, but was shuffled back to fifth early on as others fared better on the damp track.
He then made a premature switch to his dry tyre shod bike, and although he managed to avoid the error that saw fellow early pit visitor Valentino Rossi finish last after a crash, he was a fourth by the time the pitstops were completed.
However once up to speed on the dry track, Pedrosa was able to hunt down his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for third, passing the Italian on the final lap.
"It's a fantastic podium for me because in the wet I wasn't too fast," Pedrosa admitted. "I was going backwards. Then I decided to stop, but this was too early. I stopped the same time as Rossi, and I saw him crash in front of me.
"I couldn't really see where it was dry or wet. So on the first lap with slick tyres I was very slow. I think it was 1m55s or something. I lost a lot of seconds there.
"But after that I started to be fast and to get more confident, and got faster and faster. On the final lap I was on the limit and I got a podium, so I'm happy."
With Rossi failing to score following his crash and Casey Stoner only managing a distant fifth, Pedrosa's third podium of the season has brought him into the thick of the championship battle. Although he is fourth in the standings, he is within eight points of new series leader Jorge Lorenzo.