The Repsol Honda Team had a difficult start to the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday. Dani Pedrosa suffered a strange crash towards the end of the second practice session of the day, when on his out-lap and riding at low speed.
The Spaniard was thrown off his bike in the middle of Turn 11, falling heavily. After being taken to the circuit medical centre, he was diagnosed with a fractured right collarbone. Pedrosa will return to Spain today and undergo surgery.
Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez also experienced a crash at Motegi in the second free practice session –falling at Turn 10. However, he was able to complete the session without issue. The Spaniard set the second fastest time in the morning session and was fourth in the afternoon.
HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama will replace Pedrosa at the Japanese GP, from tomorrow’s third free practice.
“I’m very sorry for Dani, as it seemed that he was really coming back to his usual speed. I just wish him a quick recovery. Regarding today, honestly, the feeling was better than I was expecting here. I thought we would struggle a bit more, but from the beginning I didn’t feel so bad and we were able to do a good job on the bike. In the afternoon I had a small crash when I was trying the harder front tyre spec and I was trying to push a bit more, but I was able to continue on the same run and improve my lap time, which is a positive. I know that our opponents are quite strong here, but we’re not far off.”
“I’m obviously very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda’s home circuit and one of my favourite tracks. I was on the out-lap of my last run in FP2 when I momentarily lost the rear entering turn 11, and when the tyre found grip again it launched me in the air. There’s not much more to say; now I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible. My best wishes to Hiro [Aoyama], who is replacing me and will race in front of his home crowd.”
Source: Repsol Media
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