Dani Pedrosa Announces Return To MotoGP, Will Race At Le Mans
After being forced to the sidelines in the last three rounds of the MotoGP season following surgery to alleviate an injury to his right arm, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa has confirmed his return to the saddle and will race at the Le Mans round on May 17, 2015.
The saga surrounding his mysterious injury and the subsequent surgery to fix it threw off Repsol Honda’s early season form, forcing the team to use replacement rider Hiroshi Aoyama to fill in for Pedrosa’s seat while he was gone. That decision couldn’t have gone worse for the team as Aoyama struggled in all three races, finishing outside of the top 10 - and out of the points - in all three rounds.
Pedrosa’s return is a huge boost for Repsol Honda as it begins the slow and steady process of clawing its way back into the title picture. Defending champion Marc Marquez has had his work cut out for him in Pedrosa’s absence so having his ride mate by his side again should make it a little easier for the whole team to generate more points from these races.
As far as Pedrosa’s concerned, being back in the saddle comes as a relief for the rider who actually considered retiring from the sport completely because of the aforementioned arm surgery. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed in those discussions and now, we’re going to see Repsol Honda back at full strength for the first time this season.
What this means for the rest of the field will only be decided on the track, but make no mistake, Pedrosa’s return to the team could be the shot in the arm Repsol Honda needed to turn its own season around.
Continue reading to read more about Dani Pedrosa’s return to racing at the Le Mans round of the 2015 MotoGP season.
Why it matters
I’ve been critical of Hiroshi Toyama’s time spent as Dani Pedrosa’s fill-in over the last three rounds. Guess what, I’m not going to back away from it. I understand the pressure that comes with riding for defending champions, but it doesn’t still take away from the fact that Aoyama failed to score a single point for Repsol Honda in any of the three races he competed in.
That might acceptable on other teams, but we’re talking about the reigning champions who are expected to actually win these races. Even scoring points in the back of the Top 10 is unacceptable and yet, Aoyama didn’t even finish anywhere close to contributing points to Honda’s cause.
Pedrosa’s return should change all of that, giving the team the fearsome one-two punch it once had when it dominated MotoGP in the past two seasons. I’m still not sure how the Spaniard will look in his first race back, but seeing him there in his suit and helmet is all the assurance I need to believe that Repsol Honda will claw its way back to the title picture in no time.
I’m saying this not as a fan of the team, but as a fan of MotoGP. We’ve seen some exciting races this season but let’s face it, Repsol Honda hasn’t come close to being the dominant force it once was. Pedrosa’s return should help in that regard and it could pave the way for an even more exciting season ahead.