Andrea Dovizioso said his strategy for the Valencia Grand Prix was just to make sure he got in front of Dani Pedrosa so he could beat his Honda teammate to third in the MotoGP championship.
The Italian clinched the position with third place in Spain, as Pedrosa fell back in the late rain and finished only fifth. Dovizioso had started down in eighth following a qualifying crash in which he dislocated his thumb, while Pedrosa qualified second.
But a spectacular start – in which he stayed upright despite a touch with Alvaro Bautista's Suzuki that triggered a four-bike pile-up – brought Dovizioso straight into a long dice for second with Pedrosa and Ben Spies.
He said that he knew Pedrosa was potentially faster than him around Valencia, so could not waste any chances to get ahead of his teammate.
"It's been a difficult weekend and this track is really difficult for me, so just to fight for [third in] the championship with Dani was really difficult and I needed an intelligent strategy," Dovizios said. "The conditions were a little bit strange so I tried to stay in front of him and just stop him, because he was a little bit faster at this track.
"I couldn't follow, so I tried to overtake him every time and the strategy worked. I'm so happy about that."
The race ended Dovizioso's long association with Honda, as he will move to Tech 3 Yamaha next year - having lost his place in the factory Honda team after three seasons as the company wanted to scale back its line-up.
"I want to say a real thank you to the team and to Honda, because my team was really good," said Dovizioso. "I'm really sorry to go away, but my future is in Yamaha now and I'm really happy about the third position [in the championship]. It was so important to me."