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Dani Pedrosa on a bittersweet end to the 125cc season

Dani Pedrosa on a bittersweet end to the 125cc season

Dani Pedrosa on a bittersweet end to the 125cc season

The 125cc World Championship 2003 saw Spanish youngster Daniel Pedrosa become the second youngest rider of all time to win the title, only to break both his ankles in a nasty practice crash in Australia one week later. It was a week which illustrated perfectly the highs and lows of Grand Prix motorcycle racing to one of its keenest students, and the youngster spoke to about the experience as he began his recovery programme back home in Barcelona.

"I travelled home okay up at the front of the plane, with my legs stretched out and above so that the blood would run down and reduce the swelling in my feet a bit," said Pedrosa, who welcomed the world's media to the hospital where he was admitted on his return to Spain just days before the final round of the season at Valencia. "They helped me a lot on there, going to the bathroom and that, but everything was okay in the end. They've seen that I'm quite good, the operation went very well and they say that now one big part is out of the way – the operation. If it hadn't have gone so well the recovery would have been worse so, at the moment they've saved me that, and that's important."

"I always look forward, we've had this small incident and I don't know how long it'll take, but it will take however long it has to and all that time we'll be working hard to get to the level we were at before or even better."

"It was more difficult afterwards, because before that I was sedated and I wasn't really conscious of anything. Then when I started to get used to things I began to be a little annoyed, because you think, ‘this is my dream, and I haven't had time to celebrate it even, but anyway, I think I will be able to do it, and this will be good for the future."

"The important thing is that this year we have managed to take the title, and it's something that not many people manage. I'm at a young age to be doing this but I've evolved very quickly, very consistently and it's all been very well organized for me. The people that have brought me here have done things perfectly, so we have to see if we can continue like this in the future, and I don't think this is a problem which will affect us much, just a complication. This is going to make me stronger."

On the crash itself, Pedrosa commented: "I don't remember much - it all happened very quickly, I was just going into the bend and just as I touched the brake it went off to the left and it lifted up to the left. I was unseated by the bike, then when the back wheel hit the floor again it went back behind and that's when I was thrown off the bike. I fell onto the ground, but then I don't remember much, I did however open my eyes and saw the tyre wall and thought… oh my god, I'm going to hit and there's not even an air-fence – because I saw them close up. Then I shut my eyes again and bang! Somersaults and so on, I didn't know about anything, and when I stopped I felt the pain and I knew something was up."

Pedrosa should be back in action in the New Year, ably supported as always by his mentor Alberto Puig, who will be offering the benefit of his own experience as the youngster fights back to fitness. "Honestly, apart from the bad luck, it's been great to have him by my side because he has suffered a lot, especially in his legs, and he has a lot of experience and knows a lot of doctors and medicines and methods," explains Pedrosa, in reference to the extensive surgery Puig needed to rescue his own legs after a high speed crash at Le Mans in 1995. "This is helping me a lot, not making any errors and that everything goes okay, so my blood doesn't clot and circulates well through my bones. He's well aware of this situation, and I thank him for staying on in Australia and for supporting me here in Spain."

125cc, 2003, Dani Pedrosa

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