Pedrosa expects tough first race back after long injury lay-off

Dani Pedrosa hopes he can just steadily improve his pace during the Italian Grand Prix weekend as he makes his return to MotoGP following a six-week injury lay-off

Pedrosa expects tough first race back after long injury lay-off

The Honda rider has not competed since a collision with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans in mid-May left him with a broken collarbone. Complications during the recovery then led to further surgery.

After missing the Catalunya, Silverstone and Assen races, he has returned to the track for Mugello this weekend, but is keeping his expectations for his comeback race low-key.

"It's probably going to be hard for me because it's just two weeks from the last surgery and this track is really physically demanding so it's going to be a challenge, but I will try to step up and try to have a good weekend," said Pedrosa.

"I know Friday is maybe going to be the hardest day. I will probably feel like I'm not getting the full flow, but I hope that just with riding I feel more comfortable and I can improve step by step."

During Pedrosa's absence there were a string of rumours about whether he had exacerbated his injury during training, amid suggestions that he had had a further accident while using a mini-bike. He was repeatedly questioned about this speculation during the Mugello press conference, but vehemently denied all the rumours.

"It happened as I explained on the blog and in the press release," Pedrosa said.

"I was doing the therapy and one small piece of the collarbone just opened up and every time I was doing any exercise the bone was moving and this was causing pain. I was resting just to see what was wrong, but after two days the pain was still too much so we did some more analysis and had another kind of x-ray and finally we decided we had to fix it so more surgery was necessary.

"Now I can start my recovery, get back to training, and get back here."

He added: "I've already said it like five times. I explained it before. I explained it on my blog and in the press releases. I don't need to explain any more."

The Le Mans injury came just eight months after Pedrosa had broken the other side of his collarbone in a Motegi practice crash. The Spaniard's career has been plagued by injuries, and he admitted that the repeated physical blows were tough to overcome.

"In the last three months I had three operations," he said. "I was already feeling not perfect with my fitness so obviously with three times of surgery, it's a little hard to get these things out of your body.

"But I hope there are no more and in the future I will try to stay on two wheels and do some good racing."

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