Today’s GP of France was a tough race for the Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who was returning to racing after a six-week absence following surgery in a bid to save his career.
Pedrosa had been suffering from chronic arm pump and qualified in a creditable eight position for today’s race, and got a good start, moving up one place to seventh as the 28 lap race got underway. Unfortunately, he then lost the front in turn three on the second lap, but was able to pick the bike up and rejoin the race – albeit in last place.
He then circulated at a decent pace, continuing to ride in order to test his physical ability after his surgery six weeks ago. He worked his way through the field, posting consistent lap times and caught and past Marco Melandri on the Aprilia before snatching 16th place from Alex de Angelis on the final lap. It was a relief for him to finish the race without too much discomfort and he can now rest ahead of the Italian GP in two weeks time.
The Spaniard said: “It was a shame to crash so early in the race; I don’t understand much about the crash, because I just lost the front end. I tried to restart the engine and get back in the race, even though the handlebars were bent, because I wanted to try completing an entire race. It was a positive test for me, although there is still room for improvement, but fitness-wise things are a little better. Hopefully we can improve even more over the coming weeks.”