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GP Week : Issue 111
Moto GP news >> DANI Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Randy de Puniet have all taken advantage of the four-week break caused by the postponement of the Japanese GP for corrective surgery to correct problems that spoiled the start of the season. Pedrosa’s lingering injury had been widely trumpeted, after he slowed visibly in the first round at Qatar, complaining of numbness and weakness in his left arm. British rookie Crutchlow had been suffering in relative silence, a strong start to his first MotoGP season masking an arm-pump problem brought on by the extra demands of a MotoGP bike compared with his previous Superbike. De Puniet’s operation was to remove a screw from his left knee, the legacy of his tib-and- fib-breaking crash last year at the Sachsenring. De Puniet set a new record, returning to the track at Brno 26 days later. Pedrosa had been suffering from a misdiagnosis, discovered on the eve of the Jerez race, where he nonetheless claimed second, continuing his rostrum run. Nerve damage had been blamed; now it was found that the plate in the left collarbone he broke at Motegi last year was interfering with the artery supplying his left arm, and was restricted in certain positions. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider underwent surgery not at his usual Clinica Dexeus, but at the Teknon Medical Centre, also in Barcelona, where the titanium plate was removed and the tissue constricting the artery eased. He was in hospital for 48 hours, but expected to be fit for the Portuguese GP on May 1. Crutchlow’s surgery was also to relieve pressure ... in his right arm, where the familiar racer ’s problem of muscle pump-up meant “my hand went numb when I was riding. It started in Sepang in testing, and occurs each time I ride.” With the stitches due out at the end of this coming week, Crutchlow also expects to be fit fo for the Portuguese race. Riders take advantage of surgery break A tight schedule has been announced for would-be entrants to next year’s new-rules 1000cc MotoGP class, with teams to be confirmed over the course of the next three races. Interested teams must register by Friday, April 29 – first day of the Portuguese GP; must complete formal application by the first day of the French GP two weeks later; and must lodge a 20,000 Euro deposit with teams’ association IRTA by Friday, June 3, at the start of the Catalunya race at Montmelo outside Barcelona, another three weeks later. The paddock is agog to see if the rule changes will have the same instant attraction as Moto2: putatively privateer teams wishing to take advantage of less strict regulations on fuel capacity and engine use will provide the numbers to boost the current sparse grid of just 17 entrants. There is also the expected entry from BMW, yet to be officially confirmed. Teams applying at Estoril will, if considered eligible by IRTA, be sent a prospectus; and must then submit a formal application in France, supported by detailed information. A provisional list of teams will be published at this stage. Hurry-up call for new MotoGP teams