MotoGP Japanese GP News
The first day of free practice for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi was not good for Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider suffered a double fracture to his left collarbone after mechanical failure on his RC212V drove him into the ground at turn 7 in the first six minutes of FP1 Friday.
Repsol Honda reported that the mechanical problem with Pedrosa’s bike involved the accelerator, which apparently became stuck in acceleration. Once Pedrosa realized he couldn’t brake, he opted to throw himself to the track, landing on his left side. He was observed limping off the track after the accident, and it also appeared as if he injured his leg.
When he hit the ground, he sustained the double fracture to his shoulder. He opted to return to his home country, and undergo surgery in Barcelona. While there, doctors will set the three fragments of bone. He will then began recovering, which may take some weeks.
Michele Macchiagodena (MotoGP Medical Director) says: “When he crashed he suffered a multiple fracture of the left collarbone, and that requires an operation to have the best chance of returning to racing as soon as possible. But not for this race, of course.”
Pedrosa won’t be competing at this weekend’s round in Motegi, and it’s uncertain when he’ll make his return.
Michele Macchiagodena says: “First we need to know when he can be operated on, then we will know when he can race again. We will see him in Australia (Phillip Island). We X-rayed the ankle as well and it is okay. He had old fractures but nothing new, just a small contusion.”
This is a devastating blow to the Spaniard’s season, considering he was the only rider capable of catching the championship leader, Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.
Going into Motegi, Lorenzo held a 56-point lead over Pedrosa. The gap was larger, but with the recent positive results of Pedrosa – second at Aragon, first at San Marino and Indy, and second in Germany – the rider of the No. 26 Honda began slowly but surely creeping up on Lorenzo.
With five races remaining, the championship may be handed to Lorenzo if Pedrosa misses more than just this week’s Japan GP. But if for some reason Lorenzo has negative results this weekend, and Pedrosa is deemed safe to return at Sepang next week, the rivalry will likely continue.
Dani Pedrosa says: “Obviously this has been a really bad day for us. It was a strange crash in only my third lap, in a slow section of the track. I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn’t avoid going down. After the crash I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful. I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track – so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results.”
“I’ve been very healthy through the pre-season and through the year and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed – I don’t feel as though I deserve it. Anyway, once the doctors had checked everything here, we decided it was best to go back to Spain for the operation. I hope it goes as well as possible and that I can return to racing soon.”