The last time Dani Pedrosa, or any Honda rider, was leading the MotoGP World Championship was heading into last year's wet German Grand Prix.

A crash while comfortably leading (pictured) not only effectively ended the Spaniard's title hopes, but also marked the start of a punishing injury run from which he is still recovering.

Pedrosa returns only fourth in the 2009 world championship, but fresh from the high of his first race win in over a year, courtesy of a shock US Grand Prix triumph last time out at Laguna Seca.

The Repsol Honda rider also has an excellent record at the short and technical Sachsenring track, where he has scored three previous grand prix victories - twice in the 250cc class in 2004 and 2005, and again in MotoGP in 2007 where he obliterated the opposition with a winning margin of over 13 seconds.

"I've had some good results at this track and I take a lot of confidence into the race weekend at Sachsenring because we're probably in the best shape we've been in for a while," said Dani. "The win in Laguna Seca was really important for me and the team because it proves we've been making progress and we now have the pace to win races.

"However, we can't take anything for granted and I'm sure our rivals will be strong again and determined to fight back. I really like the Sachsenring circuit too and, despite what happened last year, I think we can be competitive again here.

"I've had a good week since Laguna, and it was great to be able to go and see the start of the Tour de France stage in Barcelona on Friday. I've been able to get back in training on the bicycle, and seeing the Tour gave me even more motivation. So I'm feeling confident for this weekend and I'm looking forward to Germany."

Pedrosa will start the German Grand Prix weekend 43 points behind third placed Casey Stoner.

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