Dani Pedrosa says keeping his rhythm and race pace on his Repsol Honda will be vital to his chances for victory at Jerez despite being out performed in qualifying by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.

12 months ago Pedrosa produced a clean sweep at the Spanish MotoGP with pole position, fastest lap and victory at his home round but has missed out on pole position to an impressive performance by Crutchlow who pulled out a quarter of a second advantage.

Pedrosa says he’s content with second on the grid as it provides him with the opportunity to fight at the front where he anticipates a different challenge to the last race in the United States with an intensely small gap in performance between the top riders.

“The lap times are really tight so it is more important to have the rhythm and that is going to be more important than pushing here and there,” Pedrosa said. “I think the good point is the race is two laps fewer than last year so that should be better for me in the moment.

“Like I said rhythm is more key than timing. In the race it looks like a lot of riders have good pace so we’ll have to focus.”

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Pedrosa concedes his wrist injury, sustained in a crash with Johann Zarco at the Argentina round, is still causing him pain having undergone surgery a week after the accident before racing at the United States MotoGP round just days later.

Having battled to seventh place at Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago despite the injury, Pedrosa is confident his wrist won’t deny him a chance to fight for the victory if a scrap emerges in the final few laps at Jerez.

“We’ll see how I feel by the end. Strength in my hand is one of the most important points about tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll take painkillers to try and help it to see if I can handle it better as it’s still not recovered 100%, I’m not sure how it will be but I’ll focus lap by lap.”

Pedrosa has tasted victory at Jerez on three occasions in his MotoGP career, plus a victory during his 250cc days, while is past two wins have come on Spanish soil (2017 Valencia and Jerez).

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