Englishman James Toseland was the centre of attention on his birthday, dicing with Valentino Rossi for a podium position for several laps before tyre deterioration eventually saw him drop back to sixth equalling his best results in his rookie MotoGP season.
Traction issues for Colin Edwards on his 100th Grand Prix appearance held him back and he had to settle for eighth place.
James Toseland sixth
`That was an unbelievable race. I got a really good start but Casey and Nicky were incredibly fast at the start. They really put the hammer down and I was wary that I needed to save my tyre for the last few laps, which are always difficult on this track with so much wear on the left side. I just wanted to stay out of trouble but I had some incredible battles out there. The one with Valentino was something special. When he passed me I knew I had to get straight back by him. If I had let him go I knew Iīd have to push right at the limit and that would wear my tyre too quickly. The rear was already spinning at that point and I tried everything I could to keep him behind me. When he did pass me and he pulled a gap, I did push a bit too hard and that cost me towards the end of the race. But it was an honour to be racing with Valentino and passing him. In the last three laps Iīd just lost a bit of grip and that was crucial because it probably cost me those two places. I knew fourth was up for grabs so I tried to pass Andrea at Honda Hairpin on the last lap. We ran a bit wide and Andrea seemed a bit upset but I passed him without touching him. I am sorry if he is upset, but he is upset for no reason. I was fighting for the best result of my MotoGP career so I had to try something. Shinya came by as I ran wide but I passed him back at Siberia, only for him to come right back underneath me because I ran a bit wide again. I am just happy with the way I rode. I rode hard and I am really pleased that on my birthday I put a good show on and I could enjoy it. I was riding my heart out and when I have a ride like that and I pass Valentino it encourages me even more.ī
Colin Edwards eighth
`I got a really good start and I thought I could hang in with the battle for third and fourth, but pretty much from the first couple of laps I knew it was going to be a really difficult race. I couldnīt even keep them close to me because I couldnīt get in the corner and I couldnīt get out of the corners. Quite early on I had a moment on the front-end and that hadnīt happened all weekend. After that I just couldnīt push and I just stayed at the same pace. I couldnīt really do more than a 31.5 and it didnīt matter what I did I kept falling back. Right at the end I could see Randy de Puniet was running into a few problems with his rear tyre and I was slowly reeling him back in. I managed to pass him and make it stick. It is severely disappointing because I really believed that I could run up close to the podium today. I was riding really hard so to finish eighth is frustrating. I felt like I was on the absolute limit at the pace I was running and it wasnīt good enough. This isnīt the way I wanted to celebrate my 100th Grand Prix, but congratulations to James. He rode a great race and Iīll be looking for a lot more in Malaysia.ī