Dani Pedrosa admitted he was concerned about his fitness as the after-effects of his recent collarbone injury caused him to fall off the pace at Estoril today.
The Spaniard broke his collarbone when a throttle problem caused him to crash in practice at Motegi at the start of October. He attempted to return for the Australian Grand Prix, but had to withdraw from the event when it became clear that the injury had not healed sufficiently.
Although he was much more positive about his condition in Portugal this weekend – and came through strongly from 12th to sixth in the first half of the race – his fitness then deteriorated and he dropped back to eighth.
"I have mixed feelings after this race," said Pedrosa. "On one side the fact that I could finish 28 laps is good because from quite early in the race I didn't know if it would be possible. On the other hand, I could have finished much higher up if I could have maintained the pace we had in the race.
"From the third lap I lost strength in my left arm and I couldn't really feel it. Honestly I didn't think I could keep that pace at the beginning of the race. At one stage I could see that finishing third would have been possible with the pace we were running, but it was impossible because soon I had no power in the arm.On every lap, I was feeling more tired and I couldn't maintain the 1min39.5sec laps. With 10 laps to go I couldn't keep pushing and I dropped back quite a lot."
Despite his concern over his condition at Estoril, Pedrosa does not think his participation in next weekend's Valencia GP is in any doubt.
"I'm going to have a check-up again with the doctors tomorrow because the arm still feels quite numb, but anyway we'll have three days to relax and recover to be ready for Valencia," he said.