Australia MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa to Return

Phillip Island MotoGP

After missing the last two MotoGP races at Japan and Malaysia due to injury, Dani Pedrosa is set to make his return at Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider missed those rounds due to breaking his shoulder at the practice-session crash in Motegi. During the wreck, in which the accelerator became stuck on his Honda RC212V, the 24-year-old Spaniard sustained a double fracture to his left collarbone.

He went for surgery that Saturday, and has been recovering since. Going into Sepang, Pedrosa was the only rider able to keep the 2010 MotoGP title from Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa reported he would do whatever possible to race at Sepang and compete for the title, but the recovery wouldn’t allow him to return. And because no one else could challenge the series’ leader for the title, Lorenzo clenched the championship this past weekend at Sepang with three rounds remaining.

Pedrosa now holds a 47-point lead over the man in third place, Sunday’s race-winner Valentino Rossi. The Fiat Yamaha M1 rider Rossi finished 0.224 of a second ahead of Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, showing the strenght of the Honda.

Dani Pedrosa says: “It was hard to take the decision to not go to Malaysia, but after another week I feel it was the right thing to do because during these days my condition has improved quite a lot. So I’m looking forward to getting to Australia and finding out how I feel on the bike.”

“I will arrive at Phillip Island on Wednesday to have some time to recover from the flight and rest a little bit. I know it will be tough because Phillip Island is a very demanding track and also the weather conditions can play a big part, but I really believe it’s time to come back with my team and try to return to the high level of performance we had before the crash in Japan.”

“The Championship is decided, but for us it’s still not over. The target now is to retain second place in the standings and continue working on the bike so that we arrive in good shape for the winter tests, when we will start working for next year.”

After Sunday’s race in Malaysia,, Pedrosa congratulated his biggest rival and fellow countryman Lorenzo on winning the championship.

Dani Pedrosa says: “I think it’s very good for Spain to have another world champion in the top class after Alex Crivillé’s first title back in 1999. That was a long time ago… too long. So I’d like to say congratulations to Lorenzo today. He rode very well this year right from the beginning of the season and made very few mistakes – so he deserves the title.”

“Of course, I would like to have been there today to try and keep the championship alive for a bit longer – even if we only had a very small chance of catching him. But it wasn’t to be. My recovery and physiotherapy after the operation is continuing to go well, and I hope to feel good enough for Australia and to get back to the level we achieved recently for the last races of the season.”

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).