Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dani Pedrosa has sought to play down expectations of a repeat victory in his home Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez this weekend.
Still recovering from last month's knee and forearm surgery, Pedrosa claimed a surprise podium finish in last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi - despite a badly worn front tyre - but warned the expected 240,000 Jerez fans that he and the 2009 RC212V are not fully competitive.
“Despite getting on the podium at Motegi, which I was really pleased with, we mustn't kid ourselves that we are fully competitive just yet,” declared the 23-year-old. “We struggled quite a lot in the practice sessions at Motegi and we're under no illusions that we have to keep working hard to bring our package up to its full potential.
“Having said that, I'm really looking forward to Jerez and it's always a very special experience for me to race there. The fans are so passionate and give me and all the Spanish riders incredible support.
“I like the Jerez track and have had some great moments there. Having got that result in Motegi, and now that my physical condition is improving, I hope I can give the fans and the team something to celebrate this weekend,” added Pedrosa, who hasn't finished outside the top two at Jerez since his MotoGP debut in 2006.
Pedrosa missed the Jerez pre-season test as a result of his injuries.