US MotoGP: Valentino Rossi not underestimating Dani Pedrosa influence

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Reigning MotoGP world champion and 2009 points leader Valentino Rossi has told MCN that Dani Pedrosa still has a huge part to play in the destiny of this year’s exciting title race.

Two crashes in the last three races have killed off Pedrosa’s own title hopes for another season with the Spaniard now well adrift of Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi approaching the halfway point.

But even though the Repsol Honda rider trails 30-year-old Rossi by a massive 64-points, the Italian fears Pedrosa could still play a key role in deciding his thrilling title fight with Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.

Pedrosa is nearing full fitness again after another injury-blighted year on board Honda’s factory RC212V and Rossi told MCN: “For sure Dani has a big role to play.

“Dani at the moment is the only one of the other riders who can stay with us and now he is better he is coming stronger.

“When he is back at 100 per cent maybe he can make some important races for the championship and take points off me or somebody else. Sometimes it’s possible to help me or sometimes work against me.

“Dani now doesn’t have to think about the championship, he has to think about himself and try and comeback at 100 per cent and try and win some races. With the problem like Dani has had this year it is always difficult.

“He is brave and he is young and he rides a Honda that is very competitive so I think he will comeback.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt