Dani Pedrosa has withdrawn from tomorrow’s Australian MotoGP race at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard could only qualify in a lowly 15th position, his best lap of 1.33.384 a massive 3.227s off the pace of factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner.
The 25-year-old, who suffered multiple fractures in his left collarbone when he crashed heavily during practice for the recent Twin Ring Motegi race in Japan, said it was too risky to continue after he completed 23-laps in pretty much constant pain this afternoon.
And the triple world champion said his physical condition was so weak that he couldn’t contemplate finishing tomorrow’s 27-lap race. Only Hector Barbera and Loris Capirossi were slower after both suffered heavy crashes.
Pedrosa said: “I couldn't hold the handlebars properly. Maybe it is the time being back only two weeks after the crash. Or it could be the track and the wind conditions. I couldn’t see myself safely doing 27 laps, so to risk a crash in this condition for just two or three points has no meaning for me.
"I prefer to rest and get back to Estoril in better shape and have more chance of controlling my bike and going faster. Lapping three seconds off the pace in a race doesn't have much sense. It's a shame but at least I came here.
"It's a long way from home but at least I can go back and start to rehabilitate with some more information. I would like to race and it was not an easy decision. But it made more sense to stop than risking a crash tomorrow."
Pedrosa’s slender title hopes were wrecked in Japan when a throttle malfunction resulted him crashing and missing the Japanese and Malaysian races.
He is currently 47-points clear of Valentino Rossi in second position in the world championship. Rossi qualified eighth today.