Dani Pedrosa believes he looked 'like an amateur' on his way to the ninth fastest time in Saturday's MotoGP qualifying as the pain in his injured left foot forced him to adjust his riding style.
Winner at Brno in 2014, his last MotoGP win to date, Pedrosa suffered a painful fall in FP2 when fluid leaked from the front fork of his Repsol Honda RC213V.
Initially, Saturday was about adjusting to the injury as Pedrosa struggled, particularly with downshifts and body movement in right corners.
“Not a good day,” said the 29-year old. “Basically, I cannot move so much the ankle, it's quite painful when I try to move it. With the shifting it's quite hard, especially the shift down. Basically the biggest issue is that I don't reach normally very well the pedals, because of my size, but today, with no movement on the ankle, I have to ride very different.
“Especially into right corners, I have to brake on the bike, then shift when I can, then move my ass to the side, and then start to turn, so I look like an amateur. But I was trying to get the best lap time I could, and I couldn't really make these superfast lap times we saw today.
“Although I did a 1m 55s, I was ninth, so it's not a good place to be on the grid. But I hope tomorrow to have a better day, I think in race pace it can be better than a quick lap. At the same time, I am struggling a little bit with the bike over the bumps, it's quite rough. And it's very hard to manage when you go over the bumps. I have a lot of chatter.
Pedrosa also claimed that he is feeling some pain in his neck after the fall but it is negligible when compared to the feeling in his ankle, which had him screaming in his helmet at times through the day.
“A little bit the neck [hurts]. But compared to the pain I have in the ankle it is nothing. The main thing is the leg, because you must push in the turn, also when you change direction and when you shift. Suddenly the pain is quite strong when I push hard, it's quite on-off, it's quite strong, so that is when try to switch it off, I have these big moments when I am shouting in the helmet. I hope tomorrow it's better with a little bit of help from injections, and that makes me a little bit more relaxed. I cannot say much but I hope it's like this.”
Looking ahead to Sunday's 22-lap race, Pedrosa feels that, despite his fitness concerns, he can benefit from a painkilling injection that will allow him to ride in a freer way.
“I still believe in the race we can handle a little bit better than one lap. So I hope to be faster in the race. As well the foot, today I did no injection, so I keep this card for tomorrow, and I hope this will help me to be a little bit more loose on the bike than today, and to be able to ride a little bit more in a normal way.
“Sure it's going to be long. Especially if you are not in the top group, the race is a little bit more shit. So looks like Lorenzo and Marc they have the strongest pace. And then Rossi always on Sundays he is faster than on Saturdays, so that's pretty much the top group, I guess. We will see how the Ducatis go.
“But I will try to do a little bit faster than today, because today I was just pushing for these quick laps, and trying to go directly to Q2 and be able to qualify a little but further forward than I did. Normally I'm better in the race than on a quick lap, so I hope is better.”