After Dani Pedrosa fractured the greater trochanter of his right thigh during practice at Mugello, his chances of racing at his home Grand Prix at Barcelona looked to be slim. But after a week of complete rest, things have turned around for the Spaniard, and he announced today that he will be racing at Barcelona after all.
Pedrosa was examined by Dr. Mir and Dr. Ribas at the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona today, and after a trial with painkilling injections, was given the all clear to race in the Catalunya Grand Prix. In a press release issued by the Repsol Honda team, he said "I'm really looking forward to my home Grand Prix even though the build-up has hardly been perfect. For the past week I've just been resting and that's pretty boring. But today I went to see the doctor and the results of the new scan have been quite positive. They decided to give me a trial pain-killing injection so that I can judge how it will feel ahead of the weekend. And today's scan really helped them pinpoint the best location for the injection so it can have the maximum effect, which was something they weren't able to do in Mugello. The feeling was good, so it looks like I'll have an injection before riding each day."
"Obviously it's still not going to be comfortable riding the bike but I'm feeling positive that we can go into the weekend and aim for the best possible result. In spite of the problems, my motivation for my home race is still the same. I've been waiting for this race for a long time and I want to get the best possible result for all the fans who will be there to support me. I hope I can give them a good weekend," Pedrosa said.
On his personal blog on the Repsol website, Pedrosa was a little more frank: "What happened in Mugello is behind me. It's already forgotten about. I'm looking forward to Mugello, even though we know I'm not recovered, that I won't be at 100%. This weekend, I will be in pain, but I'm ready for it."
He was also clear on the reasons for riding. "On the one hand, I wanted to be [at Barcelona] because I know that if I didn't score here, I would lose too many points, and lose touch with the championship leaders. On the other hand, I wouldn't miss riding in front of my fans, my friends and my family for the world." But Pedrosa remained positive, writing "The championship is complicated, because of the points difference to the leaders, but we keep on working as we have until now, and I'm convinced that we will have some great races soon."
Though Pedrosa's courage and will is not in doubt, there must be some question mark over whether riding at Barcelona is a sensible choice. Pedrosa has been bedridden for the past 9 days, and has been unable to train for an extended period before that, as he was recovering from the knee injury he suffered in preseason testing. Being competitive aboard a MotoGP bike requires the very highest levels of fitness, and Pedrosa is starting to pay the price for his inability to train. Pedrosa can only hope to limit the damage at Barcelona, for any attempt to do anything more risks further injury, almost certainly ending any hopes he still has for the championship this year.