MotoGP: Pedrosa returns to action in Le Mans practice

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Dani Pedrosa returned to MotoGP action on Friday in practice for the French Grand Prix following a three-race stint on the sidelines due to injury.

Pedrosa had been dealing with an ‘arm pump’ injury over the winter, but was forced to have surgery on his arm following the 2015 season-opener in Qatar due to the severity of the problem.

The Spaniard was unable to take part in the next three races whilst he underwent rehabilitation, with Hiroshi Aoyama stepping in as his replacement at Repsol Honda for the rounds in Austin, Argentina and Spain.

However, after confirming his comeback to MotoGP earlier this week, Pedrosa took part in the first two practice sessions for the French Grand Prix on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit on Friday.

“I’ve been doing a lot of therapy in the past few weeks since the operation and I am improving step by step,” Pedrosa said. “I’m beginning to feel stronger and looking forward to getting back on the bike – after all, this is the best way to check the feeling after all the rehabilitation work.

“It will be good to get back to my team and catch up with them all after this time and of course to see all the fans in Le Mans, so let’s hope the weather is kind to us again like in 2014!”

Pedrosa finished 13th in the first free practice session on Friday, but managed to pick up the pace in FP2 by finishing seventh and less than six-tenths of a second down on pace-setter Bradley Smith.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.