Dani Pedrosa says his Catalunya Grand Prix podium proves his radical arm surgery has paid off and saved his MotoGP career.
The Honda factory rider withdrew from MotoGP after the season opener in Qatar after repeated attempts to cure an “arm pump” problem had failed. He underwent “complicated and aggressive” surgery in which the fascia around the muscle in his right forearm was completely moved.
Having missed three races, he returned for Le Mans last month and then made his first podium appearance of 2015 with third at Barcelona earlier this month.
“I’ve had to take some difficult decisions and everything looked against me but I followed my heart and actually it was the right thing to do,” said Pedrosa. “Since I came back, every race I feel better and better so it is clear that I have a positive progression in my physical condition. For the mind it’s also important, because you get more confident and I can start to forget more about it and attack more in riding.”
The 29-year-old Spaniard, who has been part of Honda’s works MotoGP team since 2006, admitted his career had been in jeopardy before the surgery.
“I knew if I couldn’t recover my arm there would be no meaning in racing in a situation where I cannot grab the handlebars and be focused on the riding,” said Pedrosa. “That’s why I stopped because I knew it was a difficult situation to continue that way and I needed to keep clear for my future racing activities.”
Although Pedrosa was third in Spain, he was 19 seconds adrift of the factory Yamahas.
“It’s obvious that we are far from them in race pace but we can’t do everything in one day,” he said. “We know we have some problems but little by little we hope to get closer in the next races.
“Hopefully, we can learn more about where to improve the bike and some tracks will suit our bike more.”