Dani Pedrosa admits he is not feeling in peak physical fitness ahead of the penultimate MotoGP round of the season in Sepang following his fall last time out at Phillip Island.
Coming to the end of a season beset by various injury woes, most notably as a result of his accident in Germany, Pedrosa hurt his knee when he came off the Repsol Honda on the opening lap of the Australian Grand Prix.
Even so, the Spaniard is confident he will be fully fit in time for the Malaysian Grand Prix, not least because one more slip up could see him firmly in the clasp of fast catching countryman Jorge Lorenzo.
“We were not so lucky at Phillip Island, sometimes you have some bad luck in racing, but already we are looking forward to Malaysia where I am determined to make up for the mistake I made in the last race.
“I had a very good feeling at Sepang in pre-season testing before the crash. I had a good pace from the beginning and I hope to start this weekend in the best way with the new bike and tyres. I've got still some pain from the accident, my left knee is a bit swollen, but I hope I will soon be in perfect condition.”
Labelling Sepang as an 'interesting track', Pedrosa points out that the venue lacks the atmosphere of other races due to its comparatively modest spectator figures.
“The circuit of Sepang is an interesting track. It is quite long with a good combination of right-handers and left-handers, many of which are quite long. The motorcycle needs tyres of a tough compound for this race, and tyres play a very important role in the heat.
“Both the front and rear tyres are of a similar compound because they both have to work very hard: there is a lot of heavy braking at Sepang, which asks a lot of the front end, and there is a lot of hard acceleration, which affects the rear.
“The track has a lot of different corners and sections, so the riding style you use is quite varied. It is a physically demanding track because of the heat. Compared with many of the other places we go to, you don't get such a big crowd there and so this race doesn't usually have a lot of atmosphere.”