Factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa is hoping to put a miserable Australian GP behind him with a return to form in Sunday’s Sepang clash.
The Spaniard crashed out of third place on the first lap in Phillip Island, but he’s confident a swollen left knee injury won’t severely hamper him in the hot and humid conditions that make Sepang one of the toughest physical conditions of the season.
Pedrosa, who broke his wrist on the opening day of 2008 winter testing at Sepang back in January, said: “We were not so lucky at Phillip Island, sometimes you have some bad luck in racing, but already we are looking forward to Malaysia where I am determined to make up for the mistake I made in the last race.
"I had a very good feeling at Sepang in pre-season testing before the crash. I had a good pace from the beginning and I hope to start this weekend in the best way with the new bike and tyres. I’ve got still some pain from the accident, my left knee is a bit swollen, but I hope I will soon be in perfect condition.
"The circuit of Sepang is an interesting track. It is quite long with a good combination of right-handers and left-handers, many of which are quite long. The motorcycle needs tyres of a tough compound for this race, and tyres play a very important role in the heat.
"Both the front and rear tyres are of a similar compound because they both have to work very hard: there is a lot of heavy braking at Sepang, which asks a lot of the front end, and there is a lot of hard acceleration, which affects the rear.
"The track has a lot of different corners and sections, so the riding style you use is quite varied. It is a physically demanding track because of the heat.”