Dani Pedrosa’s late withdrawal from his home race in Catalunya was a big surprise for his MotoGP rivals.
Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner and factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi both said they expected the Spaniard to declare himself fit to ride after he broke his right collarbone in Le Mans last month.
Pedrosa’s latest cruel injury blow came after he was involved in a controversial collision with Italian rival Marco Simoncelli during the French Grand Prix.
Italian Rossi said: "It is really bad to lose one Grand Prix but it feels more than double to lose your home Grand Prix. The way that Dani got injured is also worst because it was not his mistake. I thought that Dani was going to come and it was just yesterday that he understood that it is not possible. Dani is also coming from a very difficult period with the other collarbone, so we have to say good luck and we are waiting for him."
And Stoner said he too was surprised when he heard that Pedrosa was ruling himself out of competing in the fifth round of the 2011 campaign.
The Aussie, who has been laid low by a heavy cold, said: "I expected Dani to be racing here. I expected the time period that we had off that he’d repair the collarbone and everything was going to be good. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like that will be the case and now we must wait and see to see if he can heal quick enough to be ready for Silverstone."
Stoner said that Pedrosa’s latest injury misfortune dealt his world title hopes a crushing blow.
The 2007 world champion said: "Missing one race is difficult to come back from, but to miss two already it is going to be very hard for him. It is disappointing seeing the luck that he has had in the past years."
Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo is also hoping his compatriot is fit to return to action as soon as possible and he said: "It must be very tough for him this situation and we all hope that Dani comes back to the championship as soon as possible because he is one of the key riders in this category."