Repsol Honda fans were delighted to hear that Dani Pedrosa would return to MotoGP racing for the Australian GP at Phillip Island this weekend, but the good news was short-lived, as today the Spanish rider has decided not to race on Sunday. Participating in both Saturday sessions, Pedrosa could only muster a 15th place position for the MotoGP race grid, battling with the pain from his broken collarbone.
Realizing that his return to racing since his injury two weeks ago at Motegi was too much too soon, Pedrosa has obviously been battling too fresh of an injury, and was unable to meaningfully compete at the GP level. Accordingly the Repsol Honda squad has announced the mutual decision that Pedrosa will not race at Phillip Island, and instead pegs the Spaniard’s return to occur at Estoril for the Portuguese GP in two weeks.
“After the operation in Spain my target was to come back in Australia. But having ridden in the three practice sessions here it’s clear that it is really impossible for me to maintain a high pace because I lose strength in my arm lap-by-lap and controlling the bike gets increasingly difficult – even more so with the strong winds here,” explained Pedrosa.
“Phillip Island is a very fast circuit, I have to grip the handlebars very tightly, and this makes me very tired and gives me a lot of pain. To ride around three seconds off the pace in the race tomorrow and maybe collect just a few points wouldn’t make much sense. But I think it has been worth it to at least try to ride here because we really didn’t know how I would be on the bike until we tried.”
Source: Repsol Honda