Dani Pedrosa is to stop racing in an attempt to cure the chronic arm pump which plagued his ride during Sunday’s season opener in Qatar.
The Repsol Honda star had qualified second on the grid but dropped to sixth under the floodlights during the race, and afterwards issued a statement explaining that he had been suffering with chronic arm pump for a year and that surgery to solve the loss of feeling and strength in his right forearm has not worked.
He said: “Tonight’s race didn’t go to plan and unfortunately, I had serious problems with my right forearm which isn’t good news for me. I worked very hard over the winter in order to find a solution, because I was suffering in every race last season.
“Every doctor recommended that I not undergo another operation and I have tried to look for alternatives, but by the looks of things nothing is working positively for it. Now I have to assess my options and see what I can do. It is probably the most difficult moment of my career. I will do my best to find a solution but in this moment it is difficult to imagine what it could be.”
The concern for Pedrosa is that a further operation may actually make the problem worse, but it’s clear from the statement that his immediate racing career is in doubt. The news has led to intense speculation as to which rider could step in and ride Pedrosa’s RC213V, with many tipping double world champion Casey Stoner to fill in at Austin.
The 29-year-old has been a factory Honda MotoGP rider since 2006, winning 26 grands prix and finishing runner-up in the world championship three times. His last race win came at Brno last August.