Tech 3 Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal praised Josh Hayes' professionalism after the double American Superbike champion delivered a seventh-place finish on his MotoGP debut at Valencia.
Hayes was given the chance to replace the injured Colin Edwards at Tech 3 this weekend, and achieved seventh despite having had no experience of the MotoGP or the Valencia circuit prior to the event. He also topped the morning warm-up after making a late run on slick tyres in damp conditions.
"I can't praise Josh enough," said Poncharal. "He had a lot to cope with this weekend in learning the track and the bike and the conditions made it even more difficult.
"He is a fast rider but also a great professional. He didn't make one mistake all weekend and we couldn't have had a better replacement for Colin Edwards."
Hayes said he had thought leading the warm-up would be the high point of his weekend so was thrilled with the race result - though he felt it owed something to the first-corner crash that eliminated four bikes.
"It was a very exciting and difficult race but certainly an experience I will never forget," he said. "I had a joke with my crew that I should have packed up at lunch after I was fastest in the warm-up!
"The conditions were really difficult with the rain but riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 with the carbon brakes and Bridgestone tyres was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. The bike felt perfect each time I went out of the pits and it is a real bonus to finish inside the top 10.
"It is not exactly how I wanted to do it with so many guys going down at the first corner but I am happy with my race and how I rode. It was a successful race for me and I managed to beat a lot of experienced riders, which is something to be proud of.
"Riding a MotoGP is definitely something I would like to do again in my career."