Arm Injury Forces Fabrizio Out in Germany

Team Suzuki Press Office - September 4th.

Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio left the 10th round of the World Superbike Championship at Nurburgring in Germany with no points after being 'struck on the arm' on the opening lap of race one.

He made a good start to race one from the third-row of the grid, but was hit on the opening lap: At first, the impact didn't bother him and he was able to charge through the field and take fifth place by half-race distance. But then his arm began to swell and he was unable to control the throttle properly. As the pain increased, the Italian dropped down the order and finished just outside the points in 16th place.

Carlos Checa (Ducati) won the race comfortably with Marco Melandri (Yamaha) second and Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) in third.

After the race, Fabrizio went to the Clinica Mobile where he had his right arm X-Rayed. Fortunately, nothing was broken, but the swelling indicated some damage to a tendon or muscle. He had some painkillers before going out on the grid for race two - which was delayed as the organisers waited to see if the rain would come down. When it did, all riders changed to wet tyres and went out for their inspection laps. The rain got harder and soon there were rivulets of water running across the track and deep puddles throughout the 5.137 kilometre circuit.

Fabrizio and the rest of the field started the race cautiously, but it soon became clear that the conditions were worsening, he struggled for five laps before he and the Alstare Suzuki Team decided that it would be better to pull in than risk a crash and a possible injury.

The race was won by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) after it was red-flagged with seven laps to go. Second was Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) with his team mate Jakub Smrz third.

Michel Fabrizio - Race 1: 16th, Race 2: Retired.

"I am really not sure what happened in the first lap of race one. I was going though a left turn whilst keeping an eye on Sykes on my left when I suddenly felt an impact on my right arm, just above the wrist. I don't know if it was another rider or something that had flown up from the track. All I know is that it was a fairly-hard blow. I carried on racing and managed to pass quite a few riders and get up to fifth place. I was pretty happy at this stage because I had started from 12h on the grid, but soon I could feel the pain in my arm getting worse. I could feel it swelling up and, as the race wore on, that affected my throttle control. I just couldn't force the throttle wide open when I needed to and it wasn't long before riders began to pass me. I kept going as best I could, but it was frustrating seeing all the riders I had passed overtake me. The pain got worse and worse, but I kept going in case I could get any points. Unfortunately, I finished 16th, so not a good start to the day. I had some painkillers - pills, not injections - before the start of race two, but I knew that it was not going to be a good day for me, when the rain began to pour.

"Soon there were big puddles everywhere and there were rivulets in many parts of the track. Even on the straights we were aquaplaning and it was pretty dangerous just trying to get round without crashing. My arm was feeling very painful and I wasn't in the points, so the team and I decided that there was no point continuing. I pulled into the pits, which was definitely the right decision. Watching the rest of the race from my pit box, I am a bit surprised that 13 laps were completed before the red flag came out, but I was happy to have survived without crashing.

"The weekend had started pretty well and Friday and Saturday had been good, apart from Superpole. My race-pace was good and I was happy with fifth after nine laps of race one. If it hadn't have been for the blow to my arm, I'm sure that I would've finished the first race in the top five. But racing is unpredictable and today was just not my lucky day."

Results:

Race 1: 1 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 2 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha), 3 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia), 4 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha), 6 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW), 16 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki),

Race 2: 1 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki), 2 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati), 3 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 4 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 5 Laverty, 6 Melandri. Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) RETIRED

Championship Points: 1 Carlos Checa 376, 2 Marco Melandri 302, 3 Max Biaggi 281, 4 Laverty 232, 5 Haslam 176, 6 Camier 154. **7 Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki) 141. **