Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa said the weekend’s racing at Catalunya was very emotional after Spanish countryman Luis Salom lost his life in Friday’s Moto2 practice session.
In Sunday’s MotoGP race in Barcelona, Pedrosa finished third behind team-mate Marc Marquez and race winner Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, to claim his second podium of the season.
Pedrosa now lies fourth in the rider standings with 82 points, 43 behind from new leader Marquez.
After Salom lost his life on Friday his family insisted that the racing should continue instead of being cancelled.
On Sunday morning before the days racing a minute’s silence was held on the main straight in Salom’s honour.
In an interview after finishing third, Pedrosa acknowledged that it had been a very difficult weekend for all especially the family of the deceased rider.
“Very difficult weekend, but at the end, we continued the grand prix because of his family. They wanted us to continue and I tried to give the best effort for him and his family,” said Pedrosa.
“When we were in the minute of silence, with all the riders and all the people from the paddock there, it was very touching. You see how important and how much the risk is there, so just ask the fans to give us all the respect from the first to the last rider because we all try our best to do a great show for them and us.
“So the minute of silence was very, very emotional and we finished the day with these t-shirts, but especially with his memory in our hearts for always.”
— BT Sport MotoGP (@btsportmotogp) June 5, 2016
Pedrosa said what helped him to get his podium was the fact that he chose the medium compound rear tyre, rather than the hard tyre, which while most riders went with.
“I knew everybody had picked the hard rear for the race. I was about to pick the same but at the last second I changed my mind and tried to do a different strategy,” said Pedrosa.
“Unfortunately, I braked a little bit too early in the first corner and I lost some positions. But in the first laps, I was trying not to burn the tyre. I was there trying to keep the gap but not pushing too strong.”
Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales was on the attack during the race but Pedrosa managed to hold him off and finish the race ahead of him.
“I was riding like this and Vinales was attacking me almost every corner, but unfortunately, he picked the wrong place and he started passing in the chicane where there is only one line. We lost 1-1.5s there and that was the moment when I lost touch with the front group,” said Pedrosa.
“Later on, my rhythm was not so different. But with 5-6 laps to go the tyre was finished, but happy because in one way in Mugello we did a little step forward. Also again here and this is positive.”