Dani Pedrosa admitted that his hip injury had been a major impediment during practice for his home race at Catalunya today.
The Honda rider won this event last year and expected to go extremely well at the track again, but has been struggling with the latest in his string of injuries – a hip problem sustained when catching a slide at Mugello a fortnight ago.
Although Pedrosa had hoped that a well-targeted pain-killing injection would allow him to ride normally, he was in discomfort throughout practice and only managed the 14th fastest time.
"This wasn't one of the best days of riding for me," said Pedrosa. "I had a pain-killing injection before I rode this afternoon but it's still very uncomfortable on the bike and this means I wasn't able to ride at my normal pace.
"MotoGP machines are very physical to ride – it's not like a street bike – so it's tough when you are not at full strength."
He said he had no intention of withdrawing from the event and hoped his condition might ease as the weekend progressed.
"It's frustrating because this is one of my favorite circuits of the season and also one where I have had a lot of good results," Pedrosa said. "However, we certainly aren't going to give up. It's a long season and although today didn't go too well, we'll come back tomorrow and see what we can do."
Honda team manager Kazuhiko Yamano shared both Pedrosa's frustration and his optimism that the situation could improve tomorrow.
"Unfortunately he wasn't able to ride to his maximum potential which is a shame because he is extremely strong at this circuit in normal circumstances," said Yamano. "We'll have to monitor his physical condition tomorrow and hope that he can move forward step by step."