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Alex Barros´ miserable luck continues

Alex Barros´ miserable luck continues

Alex Barros´ miserable luck continues

At the end of the 2002 MotoGP Championship fans and spectators were left thinking ´if only….´ Alex Barros had scored two victories and four podiums overall after being given a Honda four-stroke and took the chase to Valentino Rossi who had made the series a virtual one-man show.

Handed a factory Yamaha for 2003 Barros was finally on works machinery and poised to continue his resurgent form on the bigger bike. Although since his fall in warm-up at the season opener in Japan and subsequent knee ligament injury Barros has been fighting more than his fair share of bad luck. Riding less than 100% fit most of the time he eventually climbed his way into the top three at a wet race in France for round four before adding his own mistake to a less than desirable scorecard with a crash at Mugello the following GP.

The ´Barros warm-up curse´ struck again at Donington in a freak spill when he was hit by wild-card Kagayama exiting the pitlane and sustained a fracture to the fifth metacarpal in his right hand forcing him to sit out the race and miss his first GP due to injury since 1992.

Approaching the Sachsenring Barros found himself in a less than desirable predicament once more as described by Gauloises Yamaha team boss Herve Poncharal. ´After breaking the fifth metacarpal in his right hand, Alex was operated on the following Tuesday under local anaesthetic. He now has a plate holding the bone together and so obviously in terms of consolidation there's no problem. The big question mark is the degree of pain he will suffer once on the bike. At the moment the plan is for him to ride on Friday and see how he feels.´

Although out of shape and feeling the demands of the twisty German circuit Barros made it through practice and lined up 11th in a lot of pain and looking for any points possible. Sadly his efforts were to be curtailed by a clutch problem that affected the gearbox and caused him to hit the ground again, this time fortunately without major damage.

´I went for the clutch at the end of the straight but there was nothing there and I went straight on and crashed. I didn't hurt myself badly – though my shoulder is hurting a little bit more than it was before. We're not sure what went wrong, but the team are looking at it now.

I'm very disappointed, as up until then I was gaining about 2/10ths of a second on the group in front of me and could have, maybe, finished seventh or eighth. It is extremely frustrating to have gone through an operation on my hand and suffered so much all through qualifying just to finish in the gravel. When I get the chance now I'll go and see a specialist, have a scan and really see what is going on with the tendons and muscles in my shoulder.´

The real impact is being felt on the Brazilian's Championship campaign with two ´0´s in a row and a lowly standing in ninth, a massive 68 points away from Max Biaggi in third. The only small consolation he currently can enjoy is a three week break to recover and repeat an end of season ´blaze´ akin to his superb run in 2002.

MotoGP, 2003, Alex Barros

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