Dani Pedrosa unsure of shoulder strength

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Dani Pedrosa reckons the left shoulder he badly broke during a practice crash in Japan in early October could still give him some problems when the 2011 winter testing schedule kicks off in Malaysia tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Spaniard’s world title hopes were wrecked when he damaged the left collarbone in a high-speed crash at the Twin Ring Motegi, which was blamed on a jammed throttle on his factory Honda RC212V.

Updating his physical condition at the launch of the Repsol Honda squad in Malaysia tonight, the triple world champion said he still hadn’t made a 100 per cent recovery despite a long winter break from his usual rigorous training schedule.

He said: “I’ve been resting quite a lot but I needed to do that after the last race. After quite a long time I started to feel better and right now my feeling is not so bad.

"Of course I don’t feel fully recovered but I think for the test it should be good. I hope I can ride almost at 100 per cent but I will have to check.”

Looking ahead to his sixth campaign in the Repsol Honda squad, Pedrosa said his big wish was to be able to fight for the title without having to contend with injuries that have undermined his challenge previously.

Pedrosa’s small physical stature has left him susceptible to injuries and at some stage in every one of his MotoGP seasons; he’s been riding hurt.

He added: “Every year normally I get injured and of course I can’t change that but I would like to get less injured because every season I crash and normally something happens to me. Hopefully this year if I’m well prepared I can crash and have no damage.”

Pedrosa also denied he’d been critical of Honda’s policy of expanding its factory team to a three-rider effort, with Casey Stoner signed from Ducati to join Andrea Dovizioso.

Pedrosa was reportedly worried that Honda was spreading itself too thin and wouldn’t be able to focus on the demands of each individual rider, with Marco Simoncelli also getting full factory support in the satellite Gresini Honda squad.

He refuted talk of his unhappiness at Honda’s increased factory effort and said: “I said that I had no problem having three riders. We are a three now and I’m sure everybody will do his best with his team to be as competitive as possible."

When asked by MCN what parts he would be testing in Sepang this week, Pedrosa said he would concentrate mainly on chassis development and electronics to try and make the power delivery much smoother.

He said: “With the electronics we are trying to improve engine drivability, so we are mainly concentrating on the exit of the corner with that. And with the chassis the focus is on the braking stability.”

He also told MCN that he expected Stoner’s arrival to help development of the RC212V with the 2007 world champion offering a fresh perspective having arrived from Ducati.

Pedrosa said: “I think Casey can give us some good knowledge from his experience with Ducati and I’m sure he can give his view of our bike to help.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt