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GP Week : Issue 151
The arm-pump muscle problem that spoiled defending champion Casey Stoner’s race at Qatar, dropping him from the lead to third, returned at Jerez, in spite of two weeks of treatment in the intervening period. “It wasn’t as severe as at Qatar. My arm was sore and weak for days after that. What I did improved it, but it still needs to be better,” he said after the race. He described difficulty holding on and operating the throttle accurately: “That was why I ran wide a few times – it’s difficult to catch your braking point and easier to make mistakes when you don’t have perfect control,” he said, while changing direction required him to change his technique, to use body weight rather than handlebar pressure. He had been hoping for dry practice sessions to test his recovery before the race, he said after qualifying: “It’s difficult to replicate the conditions away from the track.” He remained mysterious about the exact nature of the treatment he had been receiving: “We did our own exercises. I won’t disclose what they are, but it was the same that fixed it in 2010,” he said. That was the only other time he had suffered the syndrome, a painful swelling of the muscles of the forearm triggered by the strain of operating brake and throttle under extreme G-forces. The return of the problem at Jerez was a worry, with practice due to start at Estoril in just five days: “Portugal will be hard again,” he said. “There are a lot of hard acceleration points where you have to pick the bike up from right-to-left.” He repeated his disdain of a surgical quick fix: “It’s been explained to me very clearly that surgery is only a temporary repair. If it comes up again, you need the surgery again. I don’t want surgery if I can find another way.” STONER’S ARM-PUMP RETURNS Estoril will be a major test Click here silkolene.com for more information Shane Byrne, Paul Bird Motorsport, at Thruxton MCE British Superbike Championship - proving once again he is a major contender. Photograph courtesy of www.doublered.co.uk & www.jonessophotography.co.uk 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS