The good news is that Dani Pedrosa has finally confirmed that he will be racing at Mugello. After missing three races with an injured collarbone - sustained in a race crash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans - Pedrosa now feels sufficiently confident that his collarbone has healed that he has decided at last to return to competing in MotoGP. The operations - Pedrosa had one a couple of days after Le Mans to put a plate on his collarbone, then another one shortly after the Silverstone round of MotoGP to fix a loose piece of bone in the collarbone - have been a success, and Pedrosa's collarbone now feels sufficiently strong for the Repsol Honda rider to feel comfortable competing again.
The strange thing about the news is the way that it has been brought out into the public. The first confirmation that Pedrosa would be returning to racing came in the post-Assen Repsol Honda press release, a single line after the race on Saturday, followed by a brief remark by Hiroshi Aoyama. The first official word - if a racer's blog on a sponsor's website can be called official - from Pedrosa himself came in a (Spanish) blog entry on the website of Repsol, the Spanish petroleum giant and title sponsor of the Repsol Honda squad. There has as yet been no separate confirmation in the form of an official press release from the team (i.e. Honda), though undoubtedly, one will appear in the next day or two.
Pedrosa's return will bring to an end an absence almost as curious as Casey Stoner's decision to miss three races in 2009. With Stoner, nobody knew exactly what was wrong with the Australian (he was finally diagnosed with lactose intolerance), though that did not prevent anyone from having a (completely unfounded) opinion. With Pedrosa, the cause of his absence is clear - his broken collarbone - but the duration of his absence has been the great mystery. Added to the photos from a bowling alley which surfaced prior to the Barcelona round of MotoGP, showing a seemingly relatively healthy Pedrosa being photographed with some fans, Pedrosa faces a full weekend of questioning once he returns to the fray.
Below is a translation of the entry from Pedrosa's blog on the Repsol website:
For many weeks now, I have wanted to write that I will be returning to racing in my blog, and at last I can. These past weeks have been difficult, but I knew I had to focus on recovery so that I would be able to ride my bike at 100% when I returned. As I said last week, Mugello was the goal and is the only thing on my mind right now.
I'm going to Italy eager to ride the bike, to see how I feel on the bike and to try and be competitive. Besides my bike, I have really looked forward to seeing the whole team, working with them and trying to do a really good job. At the end of the day we are like a family. You really start to miss them when you are out of racing for such a long time.
In terms of recovery, the truth is that things have improved dramatically since I was operated on. We seem to have found the issue and the positive feeling that I had in the days after being operated on have been confirmed during this last week. Now I need to see how I feel on the bike during a race.
Mugello is not an easy circuit. It's physically very demanding, so for us it will be more complicated, for sure.
It's been important this week to think of all of you. You have been supporting me all this time even more than when I am racing, and this is something very special for me.
Greetings to your all
See you at Mugello!