Dani Pedrosa arrives in the Netherlands for this Saturday's Dutch TT having taken some valuable time off after his latest injury-defying performance, in Catalunya.
Aided by a stream of pain killing injections throughout the weekend, the Repsol Honda rider finished sixth in Barcelona before skipping the post-race test to rest the thigh fracture suffered at the previous Mugello round.
“Since the race in Barcelona I've basically been resting, trying to give my hip as much chance to improve as possible,” said Pedrosa, who has now slipped to fifth in the world championship. “Obviously there hasn't been a lot of time - just over one week - but I certainly feel a lot better now than immediately after the last race when I was totally exhausted.”
Depending on the feeling from his injured hip, the Spaniard will decide with his doctors whether to once again make use of painkilling injections this weekend.
“I'm feeling positive about the weekend and we'll just have to see how it goes when riding starts on Thursday,” said Dani. “My intention would be to ride without receiving any pain-killing injections because gradually they lose their effectiveness and they are not something I want to rely on - we'll see how the feeling is when I start to ride.”
Pedrosa took his first ever grand prix victory at Assen - at the age of just 16 on a 125cc Honda in 2002. In last year's race he retook the lead of the world championship by finishing second.
“Assen is a track with good memories for me because I won my first GP here and I've had quite a few podiums here too,” said the #3. “The recent changes where they shortened the circuit have removed some of its character but it still requires a lot of commitment to ride it well - especially through the fast direction changes where you need an agile machine set-up.
“The atmosphere is always special here because it's such a historic place, so I'm looking forward to getting out on track again,” he concluded.
Pedrosa and Honda are expected to open negotiations about a new contract this weekend.
Pedrosa is the only Honda rider to win a race since the switch to 800cc engines. His most recent victory was at round seven of last season, meaning Honda will have gone one full season (17 races) without a win if an RCV rider fails to triumph on Saturday.