Pedrosa: Out For Jerez, Questionable For Qatar

Dani Pedrosa's luck is stubbornly refusing to improve. Doctors at Barcelona's Dexeus Institute declared yesterday's surgery a success, which was the good news. The bad news was that the recovery period is going to be at least four weeks, ruling Pedrosa out of the IRTA test at Jerez, and endangering the Repsol Honda rider's season start at Qatar in early April.

The problems are not so much from the fractured wrist. Dr Xavier Mir pinned the fracture using a titanium screw, and Pedrosa can expect to start moving the wrist again in ten days or so, although the wrist is likely to stay weak for some time to come. Pedrosa's knee, however, is another matter. Another specialist at the Dexeus Institute, Dr Bartolome Ferreira, used skin and fat from the inside of Pedrosa's thigh to cover the open wound the Spaniard's crash in Qatar had left him with. And because of the nature of the wound, it will be at least three weeks before Pedrosa can start to move the knee, and a minimum of four weeks before he can start to fully bend the knee.

Four weeks out of circulation means that Pedrosa is almost certain to miss the official IRTA test at Jerez, and with the season opener at Qatar just over five weeks away, even the very best case scenario would see the Spaniard recovered just enough to race. But even then, Pedrosa's season is likely to get off to a shakey start, requiring a race or two before he is back to anything like full strength.

With rumors persisting that Dani Pedrosa's contract with Repsol Honda is on the line, and only a title will be good enough to ensure a contract extension, Pedrosa's health must be a worry to him. In the years since the Spaniard moved up to the premier class, Pedrosa has shown that he is capable of matching - and sometimes beating - both Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner. But if he is to clinch the title, he needs to make another step forward, and start winning more than just a couple of races a year. That's a tall order at the best of times, but with a weakened wrist and a gammy knee, it's one huge mountain to climb.

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seem to be a bit injury prone. his crashes tend to get him hurt- more so than some of the others. maybe he's frail- not a good thing to be in moto gp. another season of early rcv development without his input. i wonder if it all goes pear-shaped later in the year if we will hear puig complain that dovizioso "doesn't know how to develop a bike"...

wasn't the most talented rider to never win a championship.

Figured I'd get the jump on the post-Pedrosa nostalgic retrospectives...(I vote for Mamola or Kocinski)

I'm not one to "hate" but I don't see him as a closer. I truly believe Dovi will be the number one rider next year and Dani will go some where else. I'll give odds on this one.

I'm not a Pedrosa fan by any means, but he's able to take the mediocre RC212V and put himself on the top step. That's impressive given that the bike is hardly the best out there. It's obvious he has to push that thing to the absolute limit to get results--hence, all the crashing. IMO, we would see a happier Pedrosa if he would simply cut his ties with Puig and Honda at the end of the season. Pedrosa is a VERY talented rider and would be lethal on a better bike.

It's a little too obvious to say he "...would be lethal on a better bike."  It is a fair assumption that all riders would be better "on a better bike".  The great thing about motorcycle racing is how much more access the rider has to making the bike better for himself, as opposed to simple technical superiority.

In Pedrosa's case, he is perched atop a bike that is suited to his strengths, yet he is still uncomfortable with it.  It is entirely possible that Mr. Puig is to blame, and perhaps Dani will indeed become a better rider when separated from his influence.

Unlike others that read this site I am a Pedrosa hater. Ever since he torpedoed Hayden in 06 I haven't had an ounce of respect for him. After watching Honda drool all over their Spanish 2nd coming all the while treating their own world champion like a 2nd class citizen I've wanted nothing but ...

[Moderator edited.  We're actually not very fond of "hater" language here.  Intellectual debate and critical assessments are welcomed, but attacks on person and personality not as much.]

making the bike better for oneself. a perfect example of this would be rossi and the 2004 yamaha. here was a bike that someone as talented as max biaggi couldn't get on with, but rossi (and burgess) seemed to be able to influence the engineers at yamaha to develop the bike into a winner- first time out!

pedrosa, with all of the might of HRC behind him, cannot seem to develop the rcv into a winning bike. the last person to do that (hayden in 2006 notwithstanding) was ...wait for it... rossi! (of course). all of pedrosa's and puig's crying about how other riders (hayden) are sabotaging development is nonsense. it's up to pedrosa to do it himself if he wants to win the title- and he's off to a terrible start yet again.

perhaps honda's hiring of dovizioso is a move to get development of the RCV jumpstarted as the two riders come from the same school of riding developed in their years in the 2-stroke development classes. surely having someone like hayden, who apparently uses even more rear brake than stoner, led the development of the RCV down a separate path to the one which pedrosa favored when they were HRC riders. it's possible that the reasoning behind ducati's signing of hayden is the same as honda's of dovi: hayden and stoner just might possibly have the same approach to riding.

what' also interesting is that these two "2nd string" riders- dovi and hayden- might end up doing the bulk of the 09 development as casey's limp wrist does not appear to have any endurance and pedrosa's now immobile knee will keep him off the bike until at least the opening race (a best case scenario).

While most of your points are interesting and agreeable, it is not accurate to suggest that HRC developed the bike in Hayden's favor and to the detriment of any other Honda rider.  HRC were applying several different approaches with a few riders at the same time, to questionable effect.  It was never clear that any of those strategies ever uniquely benefitted Hayden; but he did have some say in choosing what was working for him...  sometimes.  By the time Pedrosa arrived, there was already a plan for Hayden to begin development work on the '07 bike, often in great conflict to his own preferences, and most of the other Honda riders were riding bikes relatively similar to each other.  It is in spite of this effort that Hayden won his Championship, and did it with dignity and class.

Cryo...where do you get this "mediocre RC212V" & "pushed it to the absolute limit" stuff?

If the bike was mediocre (debateable)..who else but Pedrosa can you blame? Maybe just G-I-G-O. Are you suggesting that HRC is a handicap? Maybe Ducati just outspent them...

Pushing it to the limit..hardly. The 2 last crashes I remember were dumping it in the rain with a comfortable lead at the Sachsenring & in the grass in Australia in traffic. What seems to be his problem..he just is too fragile (or unlucky). Both those crashes looked like minor low-sides, which 9 out of 10 riders would have walked away from unscathed.

Numerous riders have won MotoGP races, only a few won a championship.....maybe Mr. & Mrs. Pedrosa picked the wrong time to get randy, because with Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Dovi, Simoncelli(?) & Bautista(?) it just ain't gonna happen....ever.

I don't disagree with your points about the bike, but I am not certain the the injuries are the result of fragility. If you watch the crash at Sachsenring, you can see his wrist hitting the curbing and it looks damn painful.

If Pedrosa is fragile, I don't know. But if I'm off base on what I said, it's not by much:

1. The RC212V is a mediocre bike when compared to Ducati, Yamaha, & Suzuki. (see Dovi's comments today)

2. Pedrosa pushes that bike to absolute limit. He crashed in Sachsenring simply because he WAS pushing too hard for the conditions. He hit the dirt at over 100mph and slammed into the air fence. I'm guessing 9 out of 10 riders WOULD be injured (in some form) by such a crash.

I think Tumid1 is correct, with the amazing new talent we are now enjoying (since teams finally bit the bullet & got rid of the dead wood - Biaggi, Barros, Checa etc) and more to come from the 250's & also Ben Spies, I think Tumblina's opportunity has passed. And I have to say given the disgraceful off field carry on from him & the manager we will not miss them.

I am not a Hayden fan, but I was disgusted with the reaction from Puig when Hayden binned the bike in a wet race. It may have been the UK a couple of years ago, but basically he put a clenched fist and a 'hell yeah' (in Spanish) when Hayden crashed. It's poor form to celebrate anyone's accident, even more so when the rider is from the same team. By all means, think it, just don't say it.

I don't hate Pedrosa and I feel quite sorry for him. I remember reading somewhere that the Spanish press just love stirring and creating conflict and that in private, away from the camera's, he's smiles and does have a personality. But having Puig as your manager and knowing the weight of expectation would be enough to scupper many a racers mental health.