Qatar MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa to ride in first race

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Spaniard Dani Pedrosa will ride in this weekend’s opening MotoGP of 2009 at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The 24-year-old will fly to the Middle East despite fears that left arm and leg injuries suffered in a testing crash in Qatar last month would force him to miss the season’s opening clash.

Pedrosa needed surgery on a broken radius bone in his left arm and also a skin graft to repair damage to his left knee.

Doctors told the Repsol Honda rider, winner of six MotoGP races, that he couldn’t move the leg for almost a month.

That left the triple world champion facing a desperate fight to be fit for the Qatar night race this Sunday.

It is a race though that Pedrosa appears to have won, though it could be a damage limitation exercise in Qatar given his lack of track time in the winter, and his lack of fitness.

Pedrosa said: “First, I’ve got to say I’m really happy to be going to Qatar for this race. It’s clearly been quite a difficult winter for me and not the preparation for the season that I would have chosen.

“But my recovery from the surgery in March has been good – probably a little better than we expected – and that means I have the chance to make the first race, which is great.

“Obviously I haven’t been able to do the usual level of physical training while I’ve been injured, and we’ve missed out on some testing time, so we have some catching up to do.

“But I know my team hasn’t been standing still while I’ve been away and I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike and riding for the maximum result possible for my situation.”

How will Pedrosa get on in Qatar? Post a comment below

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt