Octo Pramac Racing rider Danilo Petrucci had all smiles after claiming his first MotoGP podium and a career-best second position in a wet British Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Italian rider’s previous best in 61 starts was eighth in the 2012 Valencian Grand Prix.
Riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP14.1, Petrucci showed tremendous consistency throughout the race, even challenging Valentino Rossi for a win.
“It was an incredible race. I still cannot realise what happened,” Petrucci said after the race.
“Early in the day, in the warm-ups, I went fast but the race was another thing.
“The team did a great job because we were not in place in the dry, but we knew how to solve our problems,” an elated Petrucci added.
With rain falling at Silverstone, the 24-year-old made a dream start after having qualified a lowly 18th. He was up at ninth by the end of the opening lap behind Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo and quickly despatched them to move up the order.
"I was pushing really hard and then I found myself behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo. I thought, I had never been in this situation, except on the Playstation!
"They were very difficult to pass, but I took the advantage over Pedrosa and Lorenzo as I saw they were not very fast and I understood that this was the time.
“When I passed Pedrosa and Lorenzo and was up at third, I had a moment of fear because I thought that they will put pressure on me.”
His battle with third-place Andrea Dovizioso was one of the highlights as he managed to keep his Italian compatriot at bay to secure his second place.
Dovizioso riding the latest GP15 was scared to follow Petrucci as the Pramac star braked as late as possible piling up best times lap after lap.
“When the rain came harder, I was scared about my front. But in the last two laps, I managed to create a little gap to Dovi,” Petrux explained.
“On the last lap in the last corner, I started laughing, as I couldn’t believe it,” after coming home in second completing an all-Italian podium.
Petrucci became the first non-factory rider since Aleix Espargaro’s second-place in Aragon in 2014, to finish on the podium.
In a kind gesture, the Italian dedicated his podium to his parents acknowledging their sacrifices to aid him to make a career in racing.