Dani Pedrosa awarded Rookie of the Year in the MotoGP class, Shuhei Aoyama in the 250cc and Bradley Smith in the 125cc - October 29th 2006
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Dani Pedrosa: "I'm very happy for this result - for myself, for Nicky and for the team. The team has won every title this year - the riders' title, the constructors, the Team title and the Rookie of the year so this is very good for us. I think we did a good job today. I made a good start and I was waiting until Nicky was behind me. When they showed me that Nicky was third and I was second I let him past and showed him with my foot where he should pass me. Then I slowed down quite a lot to give Nicky some space in second place. Then Melandri and Capirossi got past me but only Capirossi was able to catch Nicky again. At this point I thought Rossi was behind me so I was slowing down, slowing down to give Nicky some gap. Then they showed me that Rossi had crashed so when I saw this I tried to push again. I tried to pass Melandri and Stoner but it was not so easy. I could make a bit of a gap but already the tyres were on the limit and I had a big gap between me and Melandri and I didn't push for the last five laps and brought it home."
Shuhei Aoyama: "I'm not really happy. I made a mistake at the start and I lost several positions. Then I tried to pass them back but it was difficult because there were many riders going faster than me so I couldn't follow them. I really did my best, but it wasn't enough. I definitely need more training and more experience in the class. Looking back at my first season, I'm not really satisfied with the results. I expected much more, more podium finishes not only one in France. My potential is not enough, I still need to improve."
Bradley Smith: "After a tough weekend, tough qualifying and not so good grid result, the actual result in the end wasn't too bad really. To be catching Luthi and Terol in the final laps, also catching the other Honda riders in the distance, is a positive thing but I just shows that if I got a better start position then maybe I could have been up there. Who knows, it could have been another Japan, you never know. Giving yourself the opportunity with a good qualifying makes things definitely a lot easier, but I don't know, I keep on saying that and here I am. I can't change it, but if there is one thing that I got to take from this year is that I've to keep on trying to sort out the bike and to sort out my head to qualify well, because I know I can be up there. It's been an enjoyable year, I've enjoyed everything, difficult times and good times. It's been overall a great year!!"