Dani Pedrosa says setup changes to his Honda in the build up to the German Grand Prix almost spoiled his bid for a first MotoGP victory of the season.
The combination of wet practice sessions and a dry race necessitated changes along the pitlane as teams fought to find an optimal dry setup. Pedrosa says he struggled to "understand" his bike as a result of the changes, and therefore suffered an uncomfortable opening in which Honda teammate Casey Stoner was able to ease away.
"It was a difficult race, because we did many changes before race so almost everything different," Pedrosa explained. "The beginning wasn't comfortable; I couldn't understand the bike because of the changes, so Casey was leading quite easily."
Pedrosa said he gradually acclimatised to the changes however, allowing him to close and then pass Stoner 11 laps from the end - a move he says knew would set up a last-lap showdown.
"A little later, in the middle [of the race] I was more comfortable, I got more familiar, so I decided to pass Casey. I was in front for many laps but he was following very closely, very full on. I knew toward the end it would [come down to] the last lap, so I tried to push myself to the limit. It felt OK - I knew had good braking so was confident, but you never know. After many races [finishing] second and third I'm very happy. Winning is a great feeling."
Pedrosa's victory moves him up to second in the championship, 14 points behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.