Originally published by Julian Ryder on Friday, July 14, 2006
Marco Melandri has found out why his injured shoulder has hurt so much over the past two races. The Barcelona crash didn’t just dislocate it, it broke it…
Strangely enough Marco was very pleased by this news, he didn’t think such a minor injury (plus a good dose of concussion and whiplash) should have hurt like that. Now he’s happy because the worst is over. His teammate isn’t quite so happy.
Toni Elias injured his shoulder in the first session at Assen (just like Valentino Rossi) and doesn’t know yet whether he will be fit enough to race. He may do what Capirossi did at Assen and miss tomorrow’s free practice session to conserve his energy for qualifying. Loris assesses himself as 85% fit while his returning team mate Sete Gibernau calls himself 80% fit for normal life but maybe only 60 or 65% for racing. His problem is that the collarbone he rebroke in that Barcelona pile-up was equipped with a plate ten years ago. It took a bit of work to get that one out and put a new one in, so the operation took over three hours and involved a lot more trauma than the usual hour’s work. To add to Sete’s problems, it is his left collarbone and this is a predominantly left-handed track – as of course is Laguna next week.
Today’s two practice sessions saw relatively low track temperatures, which seemed to catch the Bridgestone men out. Not that every Michelin runner was happy either.
Rossi didn’t mention his injured wrist but did say he’s never gone well here, still hasn’t found a tire, and needs to find half a second from somewhere. He’s also got a bad gut ache and retired to his motorhome rather than talk to the press this evening.
It was noticeable that Casey Stoner had an updated chassis today. Honda say that this is a part that’s available to all teams. So it’s nothing to do with the rumors of Casey defecting to Yamaha next year.