Dani Pedrosa Back In The Saddle At Valencia GP

Repsol Honda rider explains why he intends to race this weekend in Spain.

Dani Pedrosa interview from Valencia GP
After breaking his right clavicle in Japan, Dani Pedrosa is returning to competition this weekend in Spain. Surgery involved using a titanium plate to reconnect the broken bones. Pedrosa also fractured his right fibula.Photo: Andrew Wheeler

Less than a month after badly breaking his collarbone during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix and subsequent surgery, Dani Pedrosa intends to compete in the MotoGP season finale this weekend in Valencia, Spain.

“There’s not much more to say,” Pedrosa said after walking away from a spectacular highside at Twin Ring Motegi. “Now, I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible.”

Dr. Victor Marlet from the Catalan Institute of Traumatology and Sports Medicine in Barcelona fixed the damage, described as “a comminuted fracture consisting of four fragments, with significant shortening of the middle third of the right clavicle.”

After Thursday's pre-event press conference, I asked Pedrosa why he decided to return this weekend. After all, fifth is the best he could finish in the championship, assuming he makes up a seven-point deficit on Malaysian GP winner Andrea Dovizioso.

“If you come back quickly, you get out of the ‘zone’ faster,” Pedrosa replied. “Also, I wanted to check that all is good so I can go through the winter knowing I can train and don’t have to worry if something is hurting, not well-placed, or whatever.

“Third, I want to be on the bike before I test the new bike so I have better judgment. Testing goes mainly through two riders, Marc [Marquez] and me, and then we have satellite teams. That is why it is important to be there.”

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Speaking of satellite riders, Pedrosa acknowledged that LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow is playing an expanding role. "In Aragon, he had a strong test with things that we hadn't even tested," he said. "He got some good results and was more in front than last year."

Pedrosa confirmed what Crutchlow has recently been saying, namely that two-time Grand Prix winner has factory equipment. “His bike was actually our bike,” Pedrosa said, “and he got updates throughout the year.”

Practice for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo begins on Friday morning with the first of two 45-minute sessions.