Pedrosa To Miss Barcelona MotoGP Round, Silverstone Uncertain

Dani Pedrosa is to miss his home Grand Prix at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona, Catalunya. After breaking his collarbone in the crash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans, Pedrosa faced a race against the clock to be fit for Barcelona, focusing all of his efforts on undergoing physiotherapy and physical rehab to make the plated collarbone strong enough so that he could race on it.

To no avail. On Wednesday afternoon, the Repsol Honda team issued a press release announcing the Pedrosa will not be fit in time for the race in Barcelona. Though the bone is healing well, it is not recovering as quickly as the Spaniard had hoped, and Pedrosa has decided that his best course of action is to focus on recovering fully before returning to action.

Pedrosa's decision is to be applauded, and flies in the face of the recent trend of riders returning to action as quickly as possible, without regard to the consequences. The examples are numerous - Alvaro Bautista, Randy de Puniet, Pedrosa himself, even Valentino Rossi - of riders who have suffered serious injury and have come back to racing while still struggling with their fitness. With just 17 riders comprising the MotoGP grid, it is not unimaginable that there is considerable pressure from both the team and more especially, series promoter Dorna, for riders to race as soon as they are able. Riders, optimistic as they always are, appear to err on the side of recklessness rather than caution.

So Pedrosa's decision not to rush his return is both welcome and extremely wise. Probably inspired by the long period of fitness problems Pedrosa has suffered since breaking his other (left) collarbone at Motegi in October last year, Pedrosa has instead elected to focus on recovering until he is capable of racing freely, without the worry of causing himself any further injury.

Barcelona is unlikely to be the only race that Pedrosa will miss. The normal recovery period is 6 weeks for a plated collarbone. Pedrosa had the surgery two weeks' ago, and so the bone will still be weak. With the British round of MotoGP at Silverstone on the following weekend, that, too, is likely to be too soon for Pedrosa. His best bet is most probably the Dutch TT at Assen, scheduled for June 25th.

Whenever Pedrosa does decide to return, any aspirations he may have had for the 2011 MotoGP title are probably over. The crash at Le Mans and skipping Barcelona means that Pedrosa will have two races in which he does not score points, and if he also decides against racing at Silverstone, that total will rise to three. His aim now, will most likely be to come back fully fit and try to score as many wins as possible during the remainder of the season.

Below are the press releases announcing the withdrawal, from the Repsol Honda team and from Repsol's Spanish media service:


The Repsol Honda Team to face the GP of Catalunya without Dani Pedrosa

Unfortunately, this weekend the Repsol Honda team will compete the fifth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, the Grand Prix of Catalunya, without Dani Pedrosa.

The Spaniard had surgery on the 18th May to repair a fractured right collarbone caused during his crash in the Le Mans race. It was hoped that through rehabilitation he would be ready to participate this weekend in the Grand Prix of Catalunya, however, due the bone healing slower than anticipated he has been forced to follow a more conservative treatment. How the injury heals from this point on will determine the timetable for his return to competition.

Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso, arrive at the Catalan circuit with Dani in their thoughts but also very motivated after their 1-2 at Le Mans. This year the circuit celebrates its 20th Anniversary since first opening its fantastic facilities to the World of Motorsports in 1992. Historically Honda has performed very well in Catalunya and has never failed to place a rider on the podium, apart from in 2009. Over these two decades the Montmeló grandstands, with a capacity of 104,000 spectators, have enjoyed 31 Honda rider podiums.

Dani has achieved 3 wins and 7 podiums in Catalunya; Casey, 1 win and 5 podiums – 3 in the last 3 seasons- and Andrea Dovizioso has 1 win and 4 podiums, but the victory in MotoGP class eludes him.

The Catalunya Grand Prix marks the start of a very busy period for the riders and teams, with six races to be held in the next eight weeks. The action packed weekend will commence early for the Honda Racing Corporation, with the presentation of the NSF250R 4-stroke machine on Thursday, the prototype to be used for the future Moto3 class in 2012 that will replace the current 2-stroke 125 model.

CASEY STONER – World Championship position: 2nd with 66 points

"After such a great weekend in Le Mans I'm really looking forward to going to Barcelona, it's one of the first Grand Prix tracks I rode on and I've always enjoyed it. It's a very flowing track and the Spanish crowd are amazing. In the past Dani has proven our bike performs well there, so hopefully we can get there and find a reasonably good set up, fast and be competitive because we really need to start taking back some more points. I am very happy to hear that Dani's operation went well and I hope that his recovery time is quick. It's a shame he cannot be riding in his home race, but I really wish him a quick return back to track".

DANI PEDROSA – World Championship position: 3rd with 61 points

"After France, I had surgery to stabilise the fracture of my right collarbone and hoped to be ready for Barcelona. I pushed myself as best as I could but I feel that my collarbone is not yet ready. I think I must rest for a while and recover properly. Since early this year I've had many problems and operations and I really believe I must stop now and let this heal properly. I would love to be in Montmeló with all the fans that follow me but for me if I'm on track, I'm there to fight for victory and offer them a good race. I feel that is not possible at the moment and therefore the most sensible thing is not to compete. It is a big shame what happened. Despite all the problems I had earlier in the season, this year I felt very strong and I was aware that I could beat my opponents. I want to say thank you to you all for your support and hope to be back in full shape as soon as poss ible to continue giving my best".

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship position: 4th with 50 points

"I'm happy heading to the Catalunya Grand Prix after my second position at Le Mans. This is one of my favourite circuits, it suits my riding style and it's a good track also for the Honda RC212V. It's a long track with fast corners and it's a great feeling when you find the right flow and link one turn with the next. I have always had good results here and after the podium achieved in the last race we arrive competitive and motivated to repeat a good performance. The atmosphere at this circuit is fantastic, there are always many spectators who are truly passionate. With the Catalunya GP starts a very demanding period of the season with 6 races in 8 weeks. Personally, I like having two races in a row because you keep working on the bike without a break and it's good also as a rider as you spend more time on the bike. I'm very sorry for Dani and I hope his rehabilitation goes well".


Second home race for the Repsol riders without Dani Pedrosa

The Repsol rider will not take part in the Catalunya Grand Prix to recover from his fractured collarbone in France. Stoner, Dovizioso and Marc Márquez will try to keep the great level shown in Le Mans

After a short break of two weeks to gather strength, the Motorcycling World Championship will increase its pace to start a period with six races in eight weeks. For the first of them, the Repsol riders will compete at home. The Catalunya Grand Prix will be the first setting where they will try to keep the momentum after their brilliant performance in Le Mans, a race where Dani Pedrosa broke his right collarbone and the recovery time will prevent him from taking part in the round starting next Friday at the Catalunya Circuit.

After dominating the three days of the French Grand Prix, Casey Stoner arrives to a circuit where he has not got off the podium since 2007. He also arrives as the man to beat after his two victories in the four races held this year. A triumph that Andrea Dovizioso will also seek, as after fighting for victory here last season -until a crash took out all chances to finish in the first places- and finishing second a fortnight ago, he reaches the Spanish round in very good form.

The unknown factor of the Grand Prix was unveiled today by Dani Pedrosa, who after undergoing surgery just two weeks ago to fix his broken collarbone, ruled out competing in Montmeló to be able to continue with his recovery process. Despite trying to find any chance to compete in such a special round, in front of his fans, the rehabilitation showed that the fracture is not sufficiently consolidated yet. The evolution of his injury will allow to decide later the date he will return to competition.

A support that Marc Márquez will receive in the Moto2 class. The Repsol rider competes in front of his fans in the race closest to his home in Cervera -Lleida-. With a victory on his track record after four races, Márquez faces the round with his usual seriousness, as he knows how to keep his feet on the ground and keep the line of work he has been following during the season, which should allow him to be again among the fastest in the intermediate class.

Dani Pedrosa

"After France, I had surgery to stabilize the fracture on my right collarbone and hoped to be ready for Barcelona. I pushed myself as best as I could but I feel that my collarbone is not yet ready. I think I must stop for a while and recover properly.

Since early this year I've had many problems and operations and I really believe I must stop now and let this heal properly. I would love to be in Montmeló with all the fans that follow me but for me if I'm on track, I'm there to fight for victory and offer them a good race. I feel that is not possible at the moment and therefore the most sensible thing is not to compete.

It is a big shame what happened. Despite all the problems I had earlier in the season, this year I felt very strong and I was aware that I could beat my opponents. I want to say thank you to you all for your support and hope to be back in full shape as soon as possible to continue giving my best".

Andrea Dovizioso

"I'm happy heading to the Catalunya Grand Prix after my second position at Le Mans. This is one of my favourite circuits, it suits my riding style and it's a good track also for the Honda RC212V. It's a long track with fast corners and it's a great feeling when you find the right flow and link one turn with the next.

I have always had good results here and after the podium achieved in the last race we arrive competitive and motivated to repeat a good performance. The atmosphere at this circuit is fantastic, there are always many spectators who are truly passionate.

With the Catalunya GP starts a very demanding period of the season with 6 races in 8 weeks. Personally, I like having two races in a row because you keep working on the bike without a break and it's good also as a rider as you spend more time on the bike. I'm very sorry for Dani and I hope his rehabilitation goes well".

Casey Stoner

"After such a great weekend in Le Mans I'm really looking forward to going to Barcelona, it's one of the first Grand Prix tracks I rode on and I've always enjoyed it. It's a very flowing track and the Spanish crowd are amazing.

In the past Dani has proven our bike performs well there, so hopefully we can get there and find a reasonably good set up, fast and be competitive because we really need to start taking back some more points.

I am very happy to hear that Dani's operation went well and I hope that his recovery time is quick. It's a shame he cannot be riding in his home race, but I really wish him a quick return back to track".

Marc Márquez

"This week we will compete at the Catalunya Circuit, which is probably the track where I have competed more times, because since the Catalunya Championships I did a lot of races. However, in Moto2 references are different and we will have to do a good job in the practice to get a good set-up and a good pace for the race.

Last winter I was able to do some laps, just at the beginning of the preseason and if in 125cc it was a track I liked, I saw that in Moto2 it is even more fun. After the French Grand Prix we arrive with a lot of motivation, but we already talked with the team about the job we need to do and we will have to control that motivation so it does not betray us".


Back to top

Comments

A pity. I like to see more bikes than just 16 on the grid. They should be forced to field a machine for some top Moto2 rider. Bad rules Mr Espeleta.

it's a tragedy for him being unable for fight for the championship, in the last tournament of 800cc bikes and worse in the moment than pedrosa demostrated a very clever race in estoril. ¿he will be fit for race soon?, only time will tell.

i'll guess than HRC will not send a replacement, they have stoner and dovicioso ready for the pilots championship, HRC is liderating teams championship actually.