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GP Week : Issue 5
n Kawasaki riders John Hopkins and Anthony West both sampled the company’s experimental ‘Screamer’ engine configuration at post- Jerez tests, before leaving the shrill and noisy machine to test rider Olivier Jacque. “It’s so loud it sounds like it’s doing 300 km/h all the time,” said West. The engine is expected to re-appear before the end of the season. n Swiss KTM 125 rider Randy Krummenacher has been released from hospital after being held in intensive care over the weekend of the race at Jerez. The teenager underwent emergency surgery on the day practice began after rupturing his spleen in a training accident. n Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland expect to have the latest pneumatic-valve motors for their satellite- team machine in time for next weekend’s Portuguese GP. Honda’s similar motor is expected only after the race. n Randy de Puniet was again the fastest Honda on the first day of post-Jerez tests, slotting into fourth overall behind Stoner, less than a second slower then leader Lorenzo. He missed the second day. n Marco Melandri, still battling to get to grips after switching from Honda to Ducati, spoiled his testing with a crash running into the last corner. Melandri trapped his finger under the handlebar and, while not badly hurt, was forced to stop riding. n Snow stopped play at the opening round of the British Superbike Championships at Brands Hatch last week- end. HIGH SIDES MOTOGP debut star Jorge Lorenzo has taken up a rigorous regime of physiotherapy and exercise, in a bid to forestall problems with the dreaded ‘arm-pump’ problems that have spoiled his first two MotoGP races. The Spanish rookie has qualified on pole for his first two MotoGP races, and finished third in each of them. After the last race at Jerez, he revealed he has been suffering from the problems all season: “It definitely slowed my pace and affected my results in the first two rounds,” he said. Lorenzo returned from Jerez for immediate attention at the Barcelona Clinica Dexeus, where several MotoGP racers have turned for sundry emergency treatments. The early investigation suggested he may be able to avoid surgery, at least during the season. Arm pump is the motorcycle racer’s equivalent of tennis elbow: a problem that can affect either or both forearms; a type of tendonitis, or at its worst carpal tunnel syndrome. The actions especially of the right hand, resisting major G-forces while also making strong but accurate movements to control throttle and brake, are impaired by painful swelling and stiffness. Lorenzo had kept the affliction secret, during his exceptional debut season, but could no longer do so after attending the special sports clinic. Dr Xavier Mer of the clinic, ruled out emergency surgery in favour of a programme of physiotherapy. “I think stretching and massage will help,” said Lorenzo. LORENZO put all medical problems behind him to dominate post-race testing at Jerez, setting the marker on the first of two days of testing, then departing. None of the skeleton staff left on Tuesday beat the Fiat Yamaha rider’s time, which at 1m38.679 was half a second slower than his pole time for the preceding race. On the second day, with only six riders still testing, Nicky Hayden came within three tenths, backing up his fourth place in the race. Hayden knocked Rossi to third on combined times, and consigned Stoner to fourth, another two tenths down. Both were also absent on day two. All had their individual test programmes. For Rossi, with only two races under his belt after switching to Bridgestones, it was another opportunity to make progress in learning about the tyres’ special characteristics, and how to adjust the Yamaha M1 settings to suit. But the Honda riders were confined to testing tyres and refining settings for their interim machines. They are still awaiting the pneumatic- valve engine that is expected only for testing after next weekend’s Portuguese GP. Hayden concentrated on working on the slipper clutch, to improve corner entry. Lorenzo undergoes treatment for arm ailment … … but still tops testing 16