Dani Pedrosa has confirmed that he picked up a hip injury during day two of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, despite not falling from his Repsol Honda.
The unusual injury happened during morning practice when Pedrosa's RC212V shook vigorously following a big rear-wheel slide in the left-hand Palagio corner.
Pedrosa was thrown upwards before landing back on the seat of the bike, then felt an intense pain on the right side of his hip.
The unlucky Spaniard had incurred severe stretching in his right hip, which pulled the gluteus medius muscle and may have caused a tiny crack in the greater trochanter (thigh) bone where the muscle attaches.
However the 23-year-old, who lies just nine points behind world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, rode through the pain in qualifying to claim eighth on the grid for Sunday's race.
“Considering what happened today, eighth place on the grid is actually quite good because I was in a lot of pain on the bike and for a while it was touch and go whether I'd be able to ride at all,” said Pedrosa.
“In this morning's session I had a slide from the rear tyre and the bike went into quite a violent shake. During this, I pulled a muscle in my right hip really hard and maybe caused some more damage - we'll have to check what the next scans show.
“But what I can say is that it was very painful and I had to stop riding immediately because the pain stopped my right leg from working properly - it was like a switch.
“This afternoon I had some painkillers, but it was still very difficult. It's very hard to make a prediction for the race - I will try, but at the moment I don't know for how long I can continue my pace - we'll see,” he warned.
The injury was particularly unfortunate given that Pedrosa had bounced back from pre-season knee and forearm surgery to claim three podiums from four rounds.
“Dani's situation is very unlucky, especially because he was approaching full strength,” said team manager Kazuhiko Yamano. “We'll have to see how he is tomorrow and cross our fingers that he's in a condition to be able to race. It's been a tricky day but we'll focus on getting the best results possible tomorrow.”