While Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez grabbed the headlines with a sixth successive COTA MotoGP victory, Dani Pedrosa defied his fractured right wrist to bring home a brave seventh-place.

Pedrosa had sustained the injury exactly two weeks earlier in Argentina, undergoing surgery on his return to Barcelona.

Many doubted he would make the trip to Austin, and Pedrosa was unsure of being able to complete practice at one of the most physically demanding circuits on the calendar.

Yet he qualified in ninth, gained a place on the opening lap and then a further position when Cal Crutchlow fell on lap 8 of 20.

Pedrosa remained in a close battle for fifth with Johann Zarco and Andrea Dovizioso for much of the race, before settling for the safe seventh.

“I’m more than satisfied with having been able to finish this race and get some good points, and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me in these days, as well as all the fans for the support they gave me," Pedrosa said.

"Honestly, before coming here I wasn’t even sure I would be able to do the practices. It was a tough weekend, especially at this track; in some other circuits you might handle the situation a little better with a bit less effort, but this one is super-physical.

"I wasn't able to enjoy the race like I usually do, even though I took some painkillers that eased the pain a little. That allowed me to focus a bit more, though I don’t have much strength.

"I had a decent start and tried to stick with the guys in front as much as possible.

"In the end I struggled to control my bike, but I managed and I’m happy with the outcome.

"Now we have some more days to try and recover as much as possible before Jerez. It’s a track I like, so we’ll see how much better I’ll feel."

Pedrosa is eleventh in the championship and still to confirm his 2019 plans.

 

 

 

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