Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will return to action this weekend for the final round of the 2016 MotoGP championship in Valencia, after missing the last three races thanks to injury.
The diminutive Spaniard broke his collarbone during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, flying home immediately and missing not only Japan but also the Australian and Malaysian rounds of the series.
But, undergoing surgery immediately after his return to Europe, Pedrosa says he’s delighted to be making a comeback at the final race of the season after a challenging few weeks.
“These past three weeks haven’t been easy because of the pain, especially immediately after the operation, and also because I missed racing at some of my favourite tracks. Anyway, after I started with my rehab, things began getting better day-by-day, and the thought of trying to recover in time for Valencia was a boost that helped during the tougher moments.
“We’re still not sure about how I’ll feel on the bike, but anyway I’m happy to be able to get back to racing. I love the Valencia track, I have fantastic memories here and I like the idea of getting back to action in front of my home fans.”
Just as important for Pedrosa as returning to racing will be his next chance to test the 2017-model Honda at Tuesday’s traditional end-of-season test. Rumoured to be radically different from the existing engine as HRC try to make a more rider-friendly package, the test will be vital for the Spaniard’s hopes for next season.