Pedrosa To Return At Phillip Island

The fractured collarbone Dani Pedrosa sustained at Motegi could not have come at a worse time for the Repsol Honda rider. Pedrosa and his team had finally sorted the Honda RC212V, and with Pedrosa on blistering form, were starting to reel in Jorge Lorenzo. Actually snatching the championship from the Fiat Yamaha rider looked to be almost impossible, but they were going to make it as tough as possible for Lorenzo all the way to the end. The crash also came at the first of three flyaway races on three consecutive weekends, giving Pedrosa virtually no time to recover from the triple fracture. Complicating things further was the distance Pedrosa would have to travel to seek medical assistance, flying from Japan back to Barcelona for surgery, and then back out to Malaysia or Australia for his next race.

In the end, Pedrosa decided to skip the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, but the Repsol Honda team have just announced that Pedrosa will be back at Phillip Island. The Spaniard was due to fly out to Australia on Monday, giving him as much time to recover and prepare for the race as possible. Pedrosa's fractured collarbone is healing well, the titanium plate holding the fragments together doing its job perfectly. But the Repsol Honda man is still suffering with stiffness in his neck and shoulder, and will be receiving physiotherapy in Australia to help deal with the problem. Pedrosa's objective is to hold on to his 2nd place in the MotoGP Championship, where he leads Valentino Rossi by 47 points. With just three races to go, that should be an achievable goal, though Pedrosa will have to score points consistently to ensure his place in the standings is safe.

Below is the Repsol Honda press release announcing Pedrosa's return:


The Repsol Honda Team arrives in Australia this week ready to contest the third of three MotoGP races on consecutive weekends. A buoyant Andrea Dovizioso will be aiming to continue his recent front-running form and challenge for the win at the picturesque Phillip Island circuit, as he did so impressively at the previous two races in Japan and Malaysia. Joining him once more in the Repsol Honda garage will be Dani Pedrosa who is making a swift return to racing after missing the last two Grands Prix following surgery to fix the collarbone he broke in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Pedrosa departs Barcelona for Australia today (Monday) and will have a few days down under to acclimatise to the time difference before his first outing on the RC212V in Friday practice. The 25-year-old Spaniard, who is continuing with physiotherapy after the successful operation to fix a titanium plate to his fractured collarbone, is under no illusions about the ch allenge that awaits him: Phillip Island is a fast and physical circuit which requires commitment and strength to master. But Pedrosa has previous experience of riding while recovering from injury and, though he will be taking nothing for granted, another podium visit this weekend is not beyond the realms of possibility. With the world championship title now decided in favour of Lorenzo, Pedrosa is determined to defend second place and the 47 point lead he has over Valentino Rossi.

Dovizioso is on a roll at the moment, having come so close to victory at the last two races. Indeed in last Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix the Italian was just 0.224s behind race winner and renowned Sepang specialist Valentino Rossi after 20 hard fought laps. It was the closest finish of the MotoGP season so far and Dovizioso’s performance demonstrates his readiness to score his first dry-weather MotoGP victory. Dovizioso’s recent strong results have rekindled his season, and thi rd place in the championship is his clear and achievable target - with Rossi just two points ahead and Stoner only one in front of Dovizioso.

The 4.448km (2.764-mile) Phillip Island circuit always promises exciting racing, a vibrant atmosphere and highly unpredictable weather. Its beautiful and exposed seaside location guarantees a unique spectacle, and the high-speed curves and flowing undulations make Phillip Island a favourite venue with many MotoGP riders. Track action gets under way on Friday with practice starting at 13.55 (GMT + 11 hours).

DANI PEDROSA – World Championship position 2nd – 228 points
"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. After the operation I began rehabilitation immediately. The surgery was very successful and the plate was well fixed, so the main problem was not the collarbone but the stiffness in my neck and all around my shoulders. I've been ha ving massage and doing exercises with my physiotherapist and I will keep this up in Australia. 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."

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship position 5th – 179 points
"We arrive in Australia in a strong position with two consecutive podium finishes under our belts from two tracks with very different layouts and race day temperatures. This means that we have made a big step forward. We have improved things a lot in terms of set up and electronics, and now we are able to fight for wins. On Sunday in Malaysia we finished just two tenths from Valentino, and we need to stay at that level and be consistent. Also, in the last two races there were two different winners, while we have been consistent in second place. So I'm confident that we can also be competitive at Phillip Island; a very demanding and technical track, and one of the fastest on the calendar. We aim to finish third in the world championship this season, so we need to score good results in the remaining races. Phillip Island is a very spectacular place; the circuit is very close to the ocean and this makes it unique. The atmosphere on race day is always really good because there are a lot of fans who are truly passionate. The real unknown is always the weather as it’s always very changeable and it can be really cold. Anyway, cold conditions are not an issue for us so we are very confident for the Australian GP."

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This is really a tough job and all the motorcycle racers are tough guys. Cannot imagine a normal person riding a motorcycle just two weeks after a fractured collarbone.

And his team.

But it seems a little early to return. I mean it must be really important to have good shoulder and upper body strength to race.

All that is really at stake for him this season is 2nd place, and since right now he's 47 points ahead of Rossi (48 ahead of Stoner), the worst that could happen would be Rossi winning in Australia (unlikely given recent precedent), which would mean Pedrosa would still be 22 points ahead of Rossi in Portugal at the end of October, with two races remaining -- that ought to be enough of a lead. And he'd have two more weeks to recover.

'eah', I agree with your comments. In the bigger picture, Pedrosa could wait and heal for the additional two weeks (three really) by missing Phillip Island, come back and compete fully to protect his 22 point lead (if Rossi wins this weekend or 23 points if Stoner wins ... which is more likely at his home race and given his past wins here).

I love Pedrosa's determination to even show up and get some points on the board. But the travel effects and potential to injure himself further are progressing points that don't make a lot of sense given his lead for second.

In any event, all the fans of racing wish you the best Dani! I know many people who wouldn't ride their street bikes this soon after such a fracture ... never mind racing at the highest level!

Not bragging but a C-bone is recoverable and quickly,

I broke mine in 2 places, and actually picked my SV up and rode it back in. when I coun't unbuckle my helmet I knew there was a problem

The doctors said it would heal normally, and I if I got surgery it would make it visually look normal but was not necessary. They told me to procede with normal activities as pain allowed :-) on day 2 I tried to start a campfire, and when I couldnlt drop the match quick enough I tossed it and nearly passed out. By day 6 I was back on the bike in about 75% form.

The surgery is likely what is slowing his recovery, in 2 weeks I could swim but I was not going to swing a golf club. DP's biggest problem will be the pain caused by inmobility, this is usually the biggest problem people have the muscles atrophe and after sitting without use for days get very very tight, and 2nd the certain motions that involve pulling of the C-bone, IE overhead lifting or pulling, (think throw a baseball)

I wish him the best it hands down was the worst 6 weeks of sleep ever, and the will to stretch the muscles through the pain is awful but he'll do alright just hope he doesn't land on it again, 2 wks is not much time to knit back together

Not only that, it's looking very much like it will be wet, for at least some part of the weekend....

How would Dani feel, flying in n seeing the clouds, the rain, knowing that a wet track equals possible easy falls...methinks maybe it was a WTF?? type moment for him...