Pedrosa Blames Early Injury for Poor Season

Dani Pedrosa began the season as a title contender but finished it in 3rd place, with no chances whatsoever to challenge Valentino Rossi for the MotoGP title. Many have wondered what happened to the Spaniard that he lost his pace so quickly to both Rossi and Casey Stoner on top of the table. The Honda rider explained his momentum fall by reminding everyone of the hand injury suffered in pre-season testing that was later activated with the German Grand Prix crash in the mid-season.

“I broke my right hand at the beginning, then the left in the middle of the season, then hurt my knee in Australia, so I lost the rhythm many times this season - in the beginning and middle especially - because I was injured. I stopped my work on the bike and everybody else continued to get better and better every race,” said Pedrosa.

Another reason for his poor performances in the mid-season was his decision to stick with Michelin tires when all his title rivals were using Bridgestone rubber – apart from Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo. The former 250cc champion admitted that he realized the potential of the Bridgestone component too late in the season and that cost him greatly in the title fight. Pedrosa switched to the Japanese manufacturer shortly after the Misano race.

“We've come back from a bad period in the middle of the season. We changed the tires and I had many critics. But finally in the last three races we've come back on the pace. At Phillip Island I crashed because of cold tyres, but at the last two races we were at the top from practice,” concluded the Honda rider.

Pedrosa ended the season back in 3rd place, no less than 124 points behind championship leader Valentino Rossi. Hours after the end of season finale at Valencia, the Spaniard took on the new 2009 bike in its first testing session with the new Bridgestone tires. He will have a new teammate at Honda starting 2009, ex-rookie Andrea Dovizioso, who will most likely breathe down his neck considerably heavier than former colleague Nicky Hayden.
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