Repsol Honda has confirmed that Dani Pedrosa will return to active competition in this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello – scene of the Spaniard's maiden triumph of the 2010 campaign.
Pedrosa has been forced to sit frustratedly on the sidelines ever since his controversial, collarbone-breaking clash with Marco Simoncelli in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans a month-and-a-half ago, missing three successive outings at Catalunya, Silverstone and Assen, in the latter of which being replaced by Simoncelli's San Carlo Honda Gresini team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, who took the chequered flag a distant eighth.
Prior to Le Mans, the two-time MotoGP World Championship runner-up had sat a close and challenging second in the points table off the back of a victory and two further podium finishes from the opening three races. His enforced absence to allow for two rounds of surgery has seen him since slip to just sixth, with his title hopes ostensibly in tatters, but the 25-year-old is motivated and fired-up indeed to rejoin the fray in style in Italy and rediscover his strong early-season form.
“After missing three races, I'm happy to be back at Mugello,” Pedrosa enthused. “During this period, I've been very focussed on my recovery, and after the second operation I have improved a lot. I'm really looking forward to riding the bike, getting into the groove again and to being as competitive as I was before the injury.
“It's been difficult being out of competition, but that was the situation and I couldn't do more. I have been in contact with my team during this time, and I know they are also looking forward to getting back to normal. Together, we will work to regain the highest level and fight to win races again.
“Mugello is a difficult circuit – very technical and demanding – and I know it will not be easy for us, but last year we scored our first win of the season there and we would like to get a good result.”