After a difficult start to the 2015 season, this week MotoGP commences its European leg at the GP of Spain in Jerez. The team were hoping to be boosted by the return of Dani Pedrosa, who underwent surgery after the Qatar GP and missed Austin and Argentina GPs. In the operation, performed on the 3rd April, doctors completely removed the layer of fascia – the casing around the muscle that gives it form and shape – which was causing problems for Dani. After three weeks of recovery Dani is feeling an improvement but together with doctors has decided to rest until Le Mans – on 17th May – to give his arm more time to heal. Hiroshi Aoyama will replace Dani for the third race in a row.
In a further complication for the team, on Saturday reigning World Champion Marc Marquez broke a finger in a training accident. The Repsol Honda rider was operated on Saturday afternoon to treat fracture to little finger of left hand, suffered while training dirt track, and had a further checkup this afternoon with doctors reporting positively.
A tight and twisty circuit, Jerez has hosted a motorcycle grand prix since 1987, and celebrates being named the World Capital of Motorcycling in 2015. With a track length of 4,428km, Jerez features eight right turns and five lefts and circulates in a clockwise direction with a trademark final turn that has seen some legendary clashes.
Marc, who will be looking to make amends for his penultimate lap crash in Argentina, has taken second place on three occasions at the Andalusian track – in 2009, 2012 and 2013 – with his first victory here in 2014. Hiroshi has had a solo win in 250cc in 2009 and two fourth place finishes in 250cc (2008) and MotoGP (2011).
Marc Marquez CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 5TH – 36 POINTS: “Today I underwent another examination by Dr. Mir, and he confirmed that the wound is healing well and looking good. He took off the cast that they had put on and now I have begun to do some physiotherapy work with some active and passive movements. My finger will be checked at Jerez after every session and the bandages will be changed. I am very motivated for this Grand Prix, because it is the first of the year in Spain, there are my home fans there and I have some good memories from previous years! It’s a pity about the injury, but I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much and that I can get a great result in front of the fans.”
Dani Pedrosa CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 12TH – 10 POINTS: “I really hoped to return in Jerez but after riding a supermotard bike yesterday, we decided it’s not the best option. By competing in an entire race weekend we risk damaging the arm further and slowing down the healing process and the last thing I want to do is create a bigger problem. I’m missing my team and can’t wait to come back in Le Mans. Thank you all for all your kind messages, they give me strength in these tough times.”