Honda has confirmed a plan of action for the Dutch TT should Dani Pedrosa decide against returning to action this weekend, with Hiroshi Aoyama being promoted from the satellite Gresini team.
With just three days to go before the start of the Assen event – unique in that it begins on a Thursday -, Pedrosa says he is still not fully certain as to whether he will return, though he admits it is unlikely.
"It's been some days since the surgery and I feel much better. I don't feel the pain I had before the operation and the evolution has been very good. I've already begun the rehabilitation and I am very positive. Every day I notice an improvement and this is very good because I really wish to get back on the bike as soon as possible.
“To be honest it will be very difficult for me to make it to Assen, but I really believe I will be OK for Mugello, so now I'm focused on working to get better every day and see how far I get. I want to return as soon as possible, but I want to do the right thing".
Even so, having persevered with a two rider line-up at Silverstone, Repsol Honda will have three bikes on the grid in the Netherlands as Aoyama is standing by to deputise for Pedrosa.
The former 250GP champion is currently embarking on his second season in the top flight, though unlike San Carlos Gresini Honda team-mate Marco Simoncelli, he is not riding a factory-specification RC212V.
If Aoyama does, as expected, get a shot on the Repsol machine, Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will step into his countryman's place at Gresini. Coincidentally, Akiyoshi was called up to replace Aoyama at Interwetten Honda for the 2010 Dutch TT when he was injured at Silverstone.