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Pedrosa close to 100% fitness for Jerez

Pedrosa close to 100% fitness for Jerez

Approaching the first European race of the season returning to full fitness, Dani Pedrosa will be highly motivated in front of a passionate Spanish home crowd in Jerez - following his remarkable performance at the opening round of the year in Qatar.

Approaching the first European race of the season returning to full fitness, Dani Pedrosa will be highly motivated in front of a passionate Spanish home crowd in Jerez - following his remarkable performance at the opening round of the year in Qatar.

The Repsol Honda rider of course broke a metacarpal bone in his right hand on the first day of 2008 preseason testing in Malaysia and despite crashing heavily again in practice at Losail and qualifying in eighth position on the grid, he rode brilliantly to a third place finish, to start his MotoGP title challenge in style.

In the first of the three traditional annual rounds on Spanish soil, the Gran Premio bwin.com de España will see the diminutive Catalan given huge support by the notoriously vociferous fans in Andalusia - and with his hand almost back to full strength he will be hopeful of appearing on the MotoGP rostrum once again.

Of his continued rehabilitation since round one and his motivation for this coming weekend's race, Pedrosa says: `I've been training since Qatar to get back to full strength and I hope my right hand should be at 100% at Jerez. It's a very important race for me and I really enjoy it.´

`What I like most about racing at Jerez is the huge crowd and the great atmosphere, it's always very special to race there because you can really feel the crowd, especially through the Nieto and Peluqui corners where the fans are really close.´

At this early stage in the championship it is important to the 2007 premier class runner-up to prevent last year's runaway title winner Casey Stoner building up any kind of significant standings lead following the Aussie's victory under the floodlights at Losail and Pedrosa has previously tasted glory at the Jerez de la Frontera track.

Last time out at the Spanish GP Pedrosa qualified on pole and finished a close second, having won the race two years previously in the 250cc class.

Analysing what Jerez requires of the World Championship competitors Pedrosa adds: `The last part of the circuit is the most important when you're chasing good lap times - the two fast right-hand curves approaching the end of the lap are crucial. The track is quite safe, though it could be improved in a few areas. There are a few bumps too, though not too many, and the tarmac offers good grip.´

`Top speed doesn't matter too much at Jerez, what you need is an engine that looks after the tyres. But above all you need a very well balanced chassis that allows you to brake hard and tackle both fast and slow corners. It's a circuit that requires quite an aggressive riding style.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE ESPAÑA, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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