Pedrosa makes strong comeback on first day at Mugello
The Motorcycling World Championship arrived this week to the green valleys of Tuscany, where the changeable weather conditioned the first practice sessions held at the Mugello circuit. Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso were competitive from the beginning and finished in second and third position, respectively, while Dani Pedrosa, returning after undergoing surgery twice on the right collarbone, took a remarkable seventh place.
At half past ten this morning, with ambient temperatures up to 26ºC and the tarmac nearly at 40ºC, started the first free practice of the Italian Grand Prix, that were very positive for the Repsol Honda Team riders. Conditions were ideal for Dani Pedrosa to get on his bike again after his collarbone fracture last May 15th in Le Mans. Visibly recovered and with the cautiousness that he always shows, the rider picked up his pace gradually and reduced his own times until finishing seventh, 1 second and 117 thousandths behind Simoncelli. A positive first contact for the Spanish rider of the Repsol Honda Team.
In the afternoon, the weather surprised again and very few riders were able to do a couple of laps. At 1pm, clouds gathered quickly and it started to rain intermittently, without the rain ever being intense enough to use wet tyres. When at ten past two the track was opened for the second MotoGP practice session, Andrea Dovizioso was one of the few that took the track, setting the fastest time after only six laps, while Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, among others, did not even get out of the garage, waiting for the conditions to improve tomorrow. For Dani this was a good situation, as it allowed him to let his shoulder rest after the effort of the morning.
Dani Pedrosa FP1 – 1:50.104, 19 laps, 100 km. FP2 – Not qualified
“It’s good to be back on the bike again and regain some feeling. I have pain, of course, especially in hard braking and in the right hand corners is where I suffer more, but it’s normal. Considering that it’s been one month and a half without touching the bike, I did not do so bad this morning.
I know that the race is going to be very tough and it will hurt because there are 23 laps and this circuit is physically very demanding, with constant changes of direction, but we have the whole day tomorrow to work and I hope I can get a more or less good grid position in qualifying.
The pain will increase with the effort, but I will try to prepare myself between practices with some treatment, have a good rest and make the most of the laps I can do tomorrow, I remain positive. I was lucky this afternoon with the drops of rain as it meant I could rest a little more. I know tomorrow will be tougher because everybody will improve their lap times and I will need to make a bigger effort”.
Source: Repsol Media