Dani Pedrosa plans to feel his way back into MotoGP action this weekend at Valencia as he returns from an injury lay-off.
The Repsol Honda rider has missed the last three races at Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang following a huge high-side in practice for the Japanese round in October.
Pedrosa sustained a broken collarbone plus injuries to his right fibula and the fourth metatarsal on his left foot in a heavy fall, but feels fortunate to have escape more serious injuries.
“Now it [collarbone] is obviously feeling a lot better and the first two weeks were the hardest, because of the collarbone, also because of the legs because the right and left foot wasn't able to move, so to have these three injuries in one crash was quite a lot,” Pedrosa said.
“Anyway, looking at the crash and how it happened, I think it was okay because the crash was quite big – in the legs I didn't have to do any surgery. I'm happy to be here and I will try tomorrow. I'm not feeling super strong at this time but I hope I can ride.”
Pedrosa moved to quash rumours at the end of October that he was set to retire by taking to social media to dismiss the speculation. During the pre-race press conference at Valencia, he said he wanted to set the record straight as quickly as possible.
“I immediately answered because obviously there is a lot of distance from where the action is and where you are, so I saw I needed to reply immediately because obviously I had to cancel this information.”
Reflecting on 2016, Pedrosa admits his statistics don't paint a favourable picture, although the Spaniard says his misfortune this season won't affect his confidence for 2017.
“The numbers weren't the best this year unfortunately. It was not many good results during the season and on top of this, not racing in the last three races. Before the crash obviously I was still fourth with some chance still to fight to keep the fourth or maybe improve some positions,” he said.
“Unfortunately this year there were mistakes for many riders and a lot of riders didn't get many points – not many were over 250 points. You miss one race or two and then two or three riders can overtake you in the championship. The confidence for next year, I can't tell because everything starts from zero and you have to time build up confidence again on the riding and do a lot of work for next season, so it doesn't have to be nothing related to the feelings right now,” Pedrosa added.
“I don't even know how I will feel on the bike. For sure, at this moment I'm still quite stiff and I need some laps to see what is the feeling. It's obvious that I have lost some power but I hope that practice by practice I can ride better.
“It's hard to have this moment because you are checking everything but I hope it will get better if I can keep coming on the track.”