Andrea Dovizioso says beating Dani Pedrosa crucial in their championship battle

Andrea Dovizioso said that beating Dani Pedrosa to the final podium spot at the Australian Grand Prix was a massive lift in his intra-team battle with the Spaniard for third place in the world championship

Andrea Dovizioso says beating Dani Pedrosa crucial in their championship battle

Dovizioso, who is leaving Honda for the Tech 3 Yamaha squad at the end of the season, saw Pedrosa cut the gap between the two in the standings from 53 points to one in the space of just four races.

And Pedrosa looked set to overhaul the Italian for third spot in the points as the pair battled for the final podium position at Phillip Island.

However, by riding more aggressively on a damp track when rain came during the latter stages of the race, Doviziso was able to build a three-second gap to his team-mate, and even looked set to finish second - ahead of Marco Simoncelli - until the last lap.

His result means he is now an increased four points ahead of Pedrosa with two races remaining and 50 points still on the table.

"The target was to arrive in front of Dani here and also to and come back out in front of Dani, so I'm happy to arrive third," said the former 125cc world champion. "I lost the battle with Marco on the last lap, but I didn't have enough grip to try to overtake.

"The important thing is that we have four points in front of Dani, so we have the possibility to fight for third position [in the championship].

"It's always difficult here with the wind coming in hard, so I think we have to be happy to come back to the podium."

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