Dani Pedrosa capped a tumultuous week with a stunning ride to second place in the Qatar Grand Prix.
The triple world champion was embroiled in a scandal at the start of the week following the revelation that he was caught using an earpiece in his attempts to pass a Yachtmaster certificate exam in his nativeSpain.
The Repsol Honda rider also struggled for most of the weekend to find the right balance with his bike and suffered a crash during practice.
After having enjoyed a successful winter testing programme, after which many pundits tipped him to have a much stronger championship assault in 2012, it seemed that the progress had been derailed and Pedrosa would stay behind Stoner in the intrateam pecking order.
When asked about the contrast between the winter and the race in Qatar Pedrosa answered by saying that “it was strange because we went from only good in preseason to here and everything was upside down.”
Nothing was working really,” continued the Spaniard. “I had a crash and then I had the flu also the bike was not working and in qualifying I had some other problems. Finally today the team made a great job and everything went back to normal and I start again to do good lap times. Im happy because the bike was working well.”
As ever a trademark fast start catapulted Pedrosa from his lowly grid position into second at the first corner and from there it was clear that the team had solved the problems from earlier in the weekend.
“The key for me was the start, I think we did a good job,” commented the 26 year old. “Unfortunately at the end I felt like it [the win] was there for me but I didn’t decide in the right moment and then Jorge pulled a small gap.”