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Pedrosa: strength will be the key on Sunday

The 2017 winner qualified P2 despite still recovering from injury, and says the strength in his hand will be the biggest factor on race day

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) has three wins in the premier class at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, and the three-time World Champion kept his form in style on Saturday at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España to take second on the grid, behind only Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). A good session by any standards, but once again even more impressive after the number 26 broke his wrist in the Argentina GP.

Pedrosa falls on the first lap after a close call with Zarco

In the Americas GP, he somehow pushed to an incredible P7 result around one of the most physically demanding and technical tracks of the year. So back on home turf and with a little more time to recuperate, how does Pedrosa feel after qualifying?

“It’s always important to be on the front row and I’m happy and surprised about this result,” begins the number 26. “We’ve been working a lot this weekend, in this physical condition it’s difficult to find the best feeling on the bike but the team is helping and I appreciate it. We’re doing the best job we can and I think now we have to focus on the tyre for the race.”

Q2. P2. ????Thanks Team! ???????? #DP26 #Team26 #RepsolHondaTeam #SpanishGP

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He says they’re looking at two tyre options at the moment – and that it could be tight on Sunday. “In the race, it looks like a lot of riders have good pace – so we have to focus a lot, and we’ll see how I feel by the end.” On the topic of lasting the distance, the key worry for the ‘Little Samurai’ now is strength. “Strength in my hand is one of the most important points about tomorrow, I’ll take painkillers to try and help it to see if I can handle it better. For sure it’s still not recovered 100%, I’m not sure how it will be but I’ll focus lap by lap.”

After that strategy took him to that incredible P7 in Texas, Pedrosa can’t be counted out at one of his best venues. Tune in at 14:00 (GMT +2) when the lights go out!

Pedrosa: "A lot of riders have a good pace for the race"