Dani Pedrosa had some positive results in the first three races in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, the Spaniard finishing third at Qatar, second at Jerez and then winning at Estoril.
But Round 4 in Le Mans brought about much trouble for the Repsol Honda rider, as he was involved in an controversial accident with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli, who was summoned by MotoGP officials following the wreck.
In that crash, Pedrosa fractured his right collarbone, which resulted in a DNF in Le Mans, and a DNS in the subsequent three MotoGP rounds (Catalunya, Silverstone, Assen). When Pedrosa returned at Mugello, he clearly struggled, finishing eighth.
But Pedrosa returned to the top at Sachsenring, winning the Germany MotoGP. He then followed that up with a second place at Laguna MotoGP.
Now that the MotoGP pilots have a short, summer break before the season continues at Brno, Pedrosa will have some extra downtime for recovery.
Following is an interview with the 25-year old, conducted by Honda:
Q. Laguna Seca MotoGP is always the halfway point of the season and the start of the short summer break. Will you be able to switch off? What are your plans?
Dani Pedrosa says: "My plan is to recover, because my muscles are very stiff, so I will try to rest a bit to allow them to relax. When I feel better, I intend to train in order to avoid feeling so week in the second half of the races."
Q. This MotoGP season you had very high expectations, but you had a really difficult first half. Despite that, you nearly did more wheelies than ever, in Jerez, Estoril and Sachsenring. What is your assessment of this first half of the season?
Dani Pedrosa says: "My opinion of these races is that I competed well, but I was unlucky."
Q. They say that after falling, the important thing is to pick you up. You really picked you up in style! You had unexpected MotoGP victories in Portugal and Germany. Do your wins of this year have a special flavor?
Dani Pedrosa says: "These victories have a very special taste indeed. Especially after the injuries I suffered, as I was never at 100%. These wins give me a high level of confidence. My rivals are in full form, so I am eager to recover my form too so that I can fight against them on equal terms."
Q. The end of your bike’s life cycle is approaching, but until the end of the MotoGP season, in which areas should it be improved?
Dani Pedrosa says: "The stability and the entrance of the corners are always complicated matters; especially in the tracks with more bumps. Anyway, the bike is responding very well for now."
Q. This year we have seen some falls in the first minutes of the practices, due to the difficulty to warm and feel the MotoGP tires. Have you gone backwards in that area?
Dani Pedrosa says: "Yes, undoubtedly. Now the tires, both the front and the rear, when they are cold they are a bit more dangerous. In this first half of the season we saw that nearly all crashes occurred when the tires were new."
Q. How do you see your main MotoGP rivals?
Dani Pedrosa says: "They are doing a good job. I have been out of competition, which made it a bit easier for them. The competition is very close. There is a very high level, but we could say that none of us is at 100%. Jorge made some mistakes and only Stoner has been the most consistent."
Q. What aims do you set for yourself in the rest of the races?
Dani Pedrosa says: "My aim is to recover my full form and thus be able to win some races".
Q. How do you feel both physically and mentally for these eight Grand Prix?
Dani Pedrosa says: "Right now I am not at 100%, but I hope to recover progressively race after race and let’s hope that I will be able to fight back in the end."