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Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Thursday, 7 October 2010 13:53 UK

Injured Dani Pedrosa ruled out of Malaysia MotoGP

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
Date: 9-10 October
Saturday 9 October: Qualifying, 0550-0900, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 10 October: 125cc & Moto2, 0350-0605, BBC Red Button/online, MotoGP, 0845-1000, BBC Two/online, MotoGP repeat, 1045-1200, BBC Red Button/online


Dani Pedrosa
Pedrosa crashed his Honda in horrific fashion in Japan on 1 October

Honda's Dani Pedrosa will miss Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP after breaking his left collarbone last week.

That means championship leader Jorge Lorenzo only needs to finish in the top 10 to be crowned world champion with three races of the season to spare.

A Repsol Honda statement said there had been "a very slim chance" Pedrosa could have made the trip from Spain.

But "after careful consideration he has made the understandable decision to stay at home to continue his recovery".

Pedrosa, 25, returned to Spain for surgery to insert a plate in his collarbone after the crash in practice for last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

He was the only rider who could possibly have caught Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo and prevented him winning the title, but even then it would have taken a remarkable loss of form by his compatriot.

"The target for his return remains the Australian Grand Prix, practice for which begins on 15 October," continued the statement from Pedrosa's team.

"In his absence, the Repsol Honda Team will not field a replacement rider this weekend, and so Andrea Dovizioso will fly the flag alone for the factory Honda squad in Malaysia."

With Lorenzo having failed to finish on the podium in just two races this season - and come fourth in both of them - the 23-year-old former 250cc world champion is all but confirmed as the 2010 world champion, in succession to Fiat Yamaha team-mate - and fierce rival - Valentino Rossi.

Jorge Lorenzo
Lorenzo has plenty of reasons to smile ahead of Sunday's race

"All I am thinking about is Sunday and if I can win the title," admitted Lorenzo.

"It's been one of the dreams of my life and it would be great to get it here in Sepang. I like Malaysia a lot and I've done so many kilometres there testing on my M1, plus I have great memories from winning the 250 championship there in 2007."

Last week's race in Japan was won by Ducati rider Casey Stoner, who won in Malaysia last year and is looking for a third consecutive win of the season this weekend.

Dovizioso finished second behind Stoner, and said he was coming into the weekend full of confidence.

"We arrive in a strong condition after not only an important podium finish in Motegi last Sunday, but also an entire race weekend where we were fast and consistent during every session.

"We made some good progress with the electronics and the machine set-up through the weekend, and so we arrive in Sepang in even better shape than Motegi."

Lorenzo had to settle for a fourth-place finish in Japan, edged out after a fierce battle with reigning champion Rossi.

The Italian secured the 2009 world title at Malaysia a year ago, but his hopes of defending his crown were seriously damaged when he broke his leg at the German Grand Prix.

Rossi has also struggled with a shoulder injury this season, and is booked in for surgery at the end of the campaign.

There had been a suggestion he could bring the operation forward and miss the end of the season, but he says he intends to take part in the remaining races in Yamaha colours as he sees out his contract before moving to Ducati.

"For sure I will go to Australia. If I have no [shoulder] pain I will finish the season," said the 31-year-old seven-time world champion.



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see also
Stoner seals Japanese MotoGP win
03 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Pedrosa signs two-year Honda deal
16 Sep 10 |  MotoGP
Pedrosa has collarbone operation
02 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Pedrosa wins on tragic MotoGP day
05 Sep 10 |  MotoGP
Hungary MotoGP left off 2011 list
30 Sep 10 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo signs to stay with Yamaha
02 Oct 10 |  MotoGP


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