Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rossi suffers 'hole' in arm, shoulder pain

Valentino Rossi endured a painful start to his 250th grand prix weekend with a big crash in morning practice for the German MotoGP at Sachsenring - then stopped out on track in the afternoon.

The seven-time MotoGP champion, who has just one podium to his credit from eight races for Ducati, was one of four riders caught out by the ultra-fast Turn 11 this morning.

"This morning's crash caused a hole in my right arm that looks like a little anatomy lesson because you can see 'inside' as far as the muscle, but I also took a hit on my shoulder- the right one, which was operated on, and which now hurts a little," said Rossi.

"It's nothing too bad, and I wasn't really affected much today. Let's hope that's also true for tomorrow, especially the shoulder."

Rossi finished FP1 in 14th place and was only 12th at the end of FP2, having lost track time once again when he was forced to abandon his number one bike.

"We did lose some time for working on the bike's setup, also because I got stranded in the second session," he confirmed. "It wasn't due to technical troubles but rather to a small bit of debris that was stuck, causing a precautionary engine shutdown.

"I think that tomorrow we'll be able to improve because we're working on a setting that's halfway between the Mugello one and the standard one, and we think it will be good for this track.

"At the moment we're losing a lot of time in some sections because although the rear of the GP11.1 is much more stable under acceleration, which is important, we still haven't found a good balance with the front. If we manage to find a compromise, I'll be able to do much better.”

While Rossi languished outside the top ten, team-mate Nicky Hayden led the Ducati challenge, finishing 4th and then 6th on the timesheets on an anti-clockwise track that suits his dirt-track background.

"We had good, stable weather all day for the first time in a long time, which makes testing things quite a bit easier," said the American. "This morning we had a really good session. I came out of the gate strong like you're supposed to and stayed in the top five for most of the time.

"It wasn't a bad day overall. In both sessions, we went faster with every little change, using the same set of tyres through the whole session. We improved the lap time this afternoon, but it seemed like the improvements were a little bit harder to make.

"We tried a couple things at the end that felt good but maybe need a little more time and adjustments. We'll see what we can do overnight and where we are tomorrow."


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