Dani Pedrosa's annus horribilis has apparently gone from bad to worse. Very strong rumors - completely denied by Repsol officials - are circulating among the Spanish press in the paddock at Barcelona that the reason Dani Pedrosa is absent is because he has suffered yet another injury to his collarbone. The fullest report so far comes from the Spanish website Motocuatro.com: according to Motocuatro.com, Pedrosa crashed while training on a Supermoto bike, falling on his right shoulder and aggravating the collarbone that was plated after his crash at Le Mans.
HRC had already confirmed that if Pedrosa was unable to ride at Silverstone, Hiroshi Aoyama would move up from the Gresini Honda team to take Pedrosa's bike at Repsol Honda. Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi, who rode Aoyama's Interwetten Honda last year while the Japanese rider was injured, will step into the Gresini team to take Aoyama's bike once again. If the rumors of Pedrosa's injury are true, then Aoyama is now certain to ride the factory Repsol Honda at Silverstone.
The most worrying of the Spanish rumors for Honda is that the crash has had a profound effect on Pedrosa's morale. Motocuatro describes Pedrosa as being "emotionally shattered", and is reporting that Pedrosa is seriously considering his long-term options. This is a serious question, as there are 6 MotoGP races between now and the end of July, and a third race without any points would put any hopes of a championship completely out of reach. So the rumors, reported by Motocuatro.com, suggest that Pedrosa may decide to take the rest of the year off to recover fully, instead of continuing to come back early and risk further injury. As Pedrosa has a two-year contract with Honda, running for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he should be able to come back to HRC next season, when the 1000cc bikes make their return.