By Stephen English

Having sat out both morning sessions at Laguna Seca due to his collarbone injury, MotoGP title contender Dani Pedrosa went on to qualify in seventh position for the US GP.

The Spaniard was half a second off the pace, but Pedrosa stressed that his physical state would have the greatest influence on his race day performance.

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When asked why he had sat out the sessions, Pedrosa said:

"I was trying to use only the key practice sessions. I am not at my best [physically] but it could be worse. I am here and can still try and get help with painkillers, to get the pain to the minimum level so that I can try and race longer tomorrow and get to the finish. I will try and get this race done and then try and recover for the rest of the races."

Having missed so much track time it is interesting that Pedrosa has elected to use a different set-up to last year, but once again the former 125cc and 250cc champion stressed that his health will be the decisive issue during Sunday's 32 lap race.

"It is a different set-up to last year. The biggest effect is from me, if I can keep the pace or if I start to have a lot of pain and cannot control the bike. Here the bike moves a lot so it demands a lot from the rider to brake and turn-in at the right moment. The key tomorrow is myself."

Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez, two points ahead of Pedrosa in the title chase, will start from second on the grid.

World champion Jorge Lorenzo will line-up one place ahead of Pedrosa and is also unsure of his strength for the race, following last weekend's collarbone surgery. Lorenzo trails Marquez by eleven points.

The three weekend MotoGP summer break starts after Sunday's race.