Injured Pedrosa relieved to score

Dani Pedrosa said he was pleased he decided to race in Qatar having scored five points despite his injuries

Injured Pedrosa relieved to score

The Honda rider had been unsure if he would actually compete in the 2009 season-opener after surgery on his wrist and knee following a massive testing crash at the Losail circuit in early March. He had not been able to ride the bike between the accident and the first practice session this weekend.

Although he was off the pace in practice, Pedrosa managed to run well inside the top ten in the first half of the race before fading to 11th.

"Overall I'm happy because of my progress over the weekend," he said. "I improved in every session and I'm glad to have come here and scored five points - though I'm also slightly disappointed because it could even have been ten or eleven.

"I got a good start and the race was going very well at the beginning. After seven or eight laps, though, I had started to get some vibration with the front wheel which became more severe as the race progressed. I started to lose grip at the front and my lap times suffered, so we'll have to check what the issue was.

"My knee was giving me a lot of pain by the end and my left arm was pretty tired too. Still, we came away having completed the race and with a few points, which was our target, so I'm happy."

His race was marred by a collision with Gresini Honda's Alex de Angelis, who made firm side-on contact with Pedrosa's injured left side after sliding wide while overtaking. The Spaniard was nearly knocked off his bike, but managed to stay upright.

"I also suffered a lot physically in the race, and de Angelis gave me a big hit mid-race," said Pedrosa. "The collision was avoidable I think because he could have passed me cleanly."

Race control investigated the incident but decided not to penalise de Angelis, who did not feel he had done anything wrong.

"I was called up to Race Direction to put forward my version of the collision with Dani, but there was no complaint against me so it wasn't a big deal," said de Angelis, who did not let the collision mar his pleasure at finishing sixth.

He added: "We knew the podium was out of reach for us here but I always felt we were capable of a top result and sixth place falls into that category.

"This is just the start, and even though we know this circuit suits my style of riding and my package, our aim is to be consistent and keep scoring results like this one."

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