Dani Pedrosa says a first-lap moment and tire problems were to blame for his failure to challenge Casey Stoner's superiority in the inaugural Aragon Grand Prix this afternoon.
The Spanish Honda rider started third after making a mistake on his best lap during qualifying yesterday. He "almost crashed" at the first corner, which dropped him to fifth, as Stoner escaped with the lead. Pedrosa climbed quickly back to second and set off after Stoner. He got within 0.6 seconds mid-way through the race, but the charge took too much from the tires and Pedrosa eventually finished five seconds adrift.
"I didn't make the perfect start and at the first corner I had a slide. I almost crashed there and I was back to fifth," said the Spaniard. "Then I had two or three laps where I had to overtake some riders and by then Casey was already far, far away.
"I tried to catch him but the pace was almost the same. We were almost at the same gap all the time. By the end I was struggling a lot with my tires. So I said 'OK, this is it today.' I tried my best, but second place is not so bad.
"Our bike was struggling more than others here with the tires, but I'm happy and I'm looking forward to [the next round at] Motegi."