After months of arm misery following last October's Motegi accident, Dani Pedrosa struck instant success in his first MotoGP race since corrective surgery to restore blood flow.

Pedrosa smashed his collarbone when the throttle suck open during practice for the 2010 Japanese round, and - unknown at the time - a plate inserted to help his recovery was instead pinching an artery, causing numbness and loss of strength in his left arm.

After struggling in the final races of last year, Pedrosa had been assured that he simply needed more recovery time. But when the problem returned in round one of this season, the Spaniard went for a second opinion, when the plate problem was finally spotted.

The postponement of the 2011 Japanese event gave last year's title runner-up a near four week break in which to have surgery and gain as much fitness as possible for round three in Portugal.

Pedrosa qualified third on the grid at Estoril, but knew from previous experience that the success of the surgery would only be known in the race.

As such he was anxiously waiting for the numbness to return as he shadowed race and world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo for lap after lap on Sunday.

But the only physical problems he felt were related to the surgery and, buoyed by the knowledge that he was finally fit again, Pedrosa drew level with Lorenzo on lap 25 of 28 and out-braked him into turn one.

Twice in the next three laps Pedrosa broke the lap record to give Yamaha's world champion - and winner at Estoril for the previous three years - no chance to counter attack. Pedrosa's victory margin was 3.051sec at the flag.

"I'm very happy for today's win, but more than the win I'm happy for my condition and it seems that my surgery was finally successful," smiled Dani.

"I was trying to raise my arm at times as it was cramping with 15 laps to go, I was riding behind Jorge and waiting for the numbness to come together with the loss of power, but it didn't come!

"I'm just so happy to see that the surgery has worked, it's been around six months with this and it's a big relief.

"For the race, I was riding at my best, Jorge is amazing here always riding so smooth and fast, I was trying to stay with him and in the end I felt comfortable and tried to make a move and I was successful.

"I'm very happy to win here, it's my first win in this track and thanks to all the doctors, my physio and trainer because it's been hard work and finally we got a win".

Pedrosa is now just four points behind Lorenzo in the championship.



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