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Haslam out, McCoy to ride, Jacque is back

Haslam out, McCoy to ride, Jacque is back

The walking wounded in the 500 class tentatively took to their monster machines for this morning´s free practice session to test their fitness ahead of the important business of qualifying this afternoon. Leon Haslam, Garry McCoy and Olivier Jacque were all doubts ahead of this weekend´s action in Catalunya, after a broken wrist, scaphoid and arm respectively.

The main news is that Leon Haslam returned to his box 15 minutes from the end of the session and decided to withdraw from the Grand Prix. ´We´re going to give it a miss and make sure I´m fully fit for Assen. I went out to try and run in a new engine but it was very painful and, even though I thought I might be able to ride, after a couple of laps my hand was folding under braking. It was alright on the right hand side because I could use my right arm and my legs but as soon as there was a left hand turn or left hand braking the pain was just unbelievable. I spoke to Doctor Costa and he said he could put a lightweight cast under my leathers but the team and I decided it was best to have a rest and make sure we´re good for the next race.´

Meanwhile Garry McCoy dismounted his Yamaha YZR in some pain, but confirmed he will give himself every chance to make Sunday´s race. ´My wrist hasn´t been too bad. It´s hard to say when you’re only doing a couple of laps because it´s nothing like the race. It´s been a bit of a shock for me to have the arm free because it was in a cast right up until last night and then this morning I was straight on a 500. I think if I had a little more time and a bit of physio it wouldn´t be too much of a problem but we´ll just have to see how the weekend goes. The plan is to ride in the qualifiers and if we get through to tomorrow afternoon I´m pretty sure we´ll race.´

Finally, there was better news for Olivier Jacque, who took to his bike for the first time since withdrawing from his home Grand Prix in Le Mans four weeks ago. ´I´m very surprised. I feel completely new, everything is okay for the race, my arm is back to its full strength and now I just need to get used to my bike again. I´ve done one hour today without any difficulties and, although I won´t be 100%, I hope to be competitive. We have some tests here after the race and hopefully by the time the next race comes round I will be fully competitive.´

500cc, 2001

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