Pedrosa fit for title challenge
MADRID, Spain - Dani Pedrosa has fully recovered from his injuries and is excited about his prospects on the new 1000cc bikes as he sets out in search of his maiden MotoGP title in 2012.
Pedrosa, runner-up in the World championship in 2007 and 2010 for Honda, has suffered a number of injuries in recent seasons and missed four races in 2011 after breaking a collarbone at the French MotoGP.
He still finished fourth in the 2011 championship.
"I've been able to do a lot of physical preparation pre-season and I've recovered from a lot of my old injuries. I'm much better, and feeling really good."
He's just finished three days of official testing in Jerez, Spain, where his team mate and 2011 champion Casey Stoner set the fastest lap time. Pedrosa was second-fastest time, getting to within 0.377sec of the Australian, and there was little separating him from his rival and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).
Pedrosa said: "It is going to be a very tough championship -I have some very strong rivals. Stoner and Lorenzo are riding to a good level, but so am I. Casey is very fast and so is Jorge, they are great opponents. I am very enthusiastic.
"I think the change in the bikes is positive. The bikes were 800cc now they are 1000cc. They are more powerful, harder on the tyres, but it should be a better spectacle because there will be more overtaking."
Pedrosa was World champion in the 125cc and 250cc categories but is still seeking his first title in the senior class after six attempts. He said: "I'm a little more positive this year and want to try to be a bit quicker."
Pedrosa had sounded more cautious when answering questions with some of his team mates: "I don't feel completely comfortable with the bike, but I continue to work with the mechanics to get it better.
"The problem has been that every time I fall I have had bad luck and have suffered injuries. Others have had heavier falls and have not missed a single race. Let's see if this year nothing happens."
The 2012 season, which has 18 GP's, will start in Qatar on April 8, a night race on the Losail Circuit outside Doha.