Absent for six weeks, Dani Pedrosa admitted to being surprised by the speed of his Repsol Honda during his MotoGP return at Le Mans on Friday.

The Spaniard was riding for the first time since undergoing complicated arm pump surgery on his right forearm. Pedrosa improved from a cautious 13th (+1.3s) in FP1 to seventh (+0.5s) in FP2, featuring as high as third in the closing stages.

"It was different than expected because I had a lot of feelings on the bike, especially in this track because the bike wheelies quite fast!" Pedrosa said of his comeback.

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"I didn't remember how fast this bike was and I had a lot of problems controlling the wheelie and trying to stay full throttle and to control the spinning of the bike. The speed at the beginning of practice was tough, many riders were passing me!

"It was hard to adjust my brain to all the little things that you do on the bike but already in the afternoon I was going better and tomorrow I'll have a better feeling for that."

Evaluating the condition of his arm, Pedrosa declared: "The arm was better in the afternoon than the morning so I'm hoping that little by little I'll get better feelings and also my riding will get better too because it's not perfect after not riding for so long.

"I had a little bit of swelling after riding so I'll do some therapy to get the swelling down and tomorrow it'll be important to see the level of swelling and the pain. I did a lot of short runs trying not to stress it too much."

Asked for his opinion, world championship leader Valentino Rossi said he was "quiet impressed" by Pedrosa's form:

"He was fast and he make a lap time very similar to mine and also Marc. Considering that he is one month without race he is already fast. I expect because I think that Dani come back only if he is in quite good shape. But we need to understand the potential of Pedrosa in the race, that is very long."

Pedrosa meanwhile admitted that he didn't do much set-up work.

"I didn't do much work on the chassis or the bike, I just focussed on myself. I'm a little bit tired and I need to get some rest for tomorrow. My first lap wasn't bad but the second or third when I started to push was harder."

Team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez was a fraction faster than Pedrosa in fifth. Both set their best lap times with the softer rear tyre.


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Abefan: Just can't see him ever winning the big bikes. I don't wish h any personal I'll or bad luck, but I just wish Honda would bin him and get a second rider with some fire and fight in them. Awesome small bike rider, but that's it.[\blockquote]

Just by the volume of disagree on your comment means just one thing... STFU! What a disrespectful mor0n.