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OJ verdict rules home rider out of Le Mans race

OJ verdict rules home rider out of Le Mans race

Kawasaki Racing's Olivier Jacque will miss the Alice Grand Prix de France this weekend due continued complications with the arm injury he sustained in free practice in Shanghai less than two weeks ago.

Kawasaki Racing's Olivier Jacque will miss the Alice Grand Prix de France this weekend due to continued complications with the arm injury he sustained in free practice in Shanghai less than two weeks ago. It has not yet been decided if Kawasaki will field a replacement rider and an announcement will be made in the coming days.

Jacque suffered a major puncture wound in the crash ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, which caused a severe laceration and muscle damage to his right forearm. As a result of the muscle damage sustained in the crash, and the stretching of the skin during surgery to close the laceration, Jacque is still suffering with a lack of mobility in his right arm and hand that can only be rectified with an intensive course of physiotherapy.

This lack of mobility in his throttle and brake hand means that at present the Kawasaki pilot is not capable of fully controlling a MotoGP machine – an arduous task at the best of times but even more difficult at Le Mans where the circuit is regarded as one of the most physically demanding tracks on the calendar.

For this reason 33-year-old Frenchman Jacque, on the advice of his doctors and after discussions with the Kawasaki Racing Team, reluctantly made the decision to withdraw from the Le Mans race.

The former 250cc World Champion will not attend the French Grand Prix but will stay in Barcelona, where he will continue to focus on regaining full fitness for the next race on the calendar after France - the Gran Premio D'Italia Alice at Mugello.

"Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed that I've been forced to miss my home race, but the loss of mobility in my right arm means that it is simply impossible for me to race at Le Mans," commented Jacque ruefully. "I damaged the muscles in my forearm in the crash, and the surgery to close the wound meant that the surrounding skin had to be stretched tight. As a result, I still can't fully extend my forearm and I won't be able to do so without some pretty intensive physiotherapy to stretch the skin and strengthen the arm."

"It's a shame that this has happened now, because the bike has improved considerably since the start of the season and a good result at Le Mans was a real possibility. I hope that, when I return, my results will reflect just how much of an improvement has been made with the bike. I feel sorry for my team, but I am aiming to be back with them as soon as possible, and I wish them every success in France."

Kawasaki's Communications Manager Ian Wheeler added: "Unfortunately, Olivier was left with no choice but to withdraw from the French Grand Prix at Le Mans once the full extent of his injuries became apparent. We're sorry for him, because he was well motivated for his home race, but the lack of strength and mobility in his injured arm means that it is impossible for him to race in France this weekend."

"If everything goes to plan, then we expect to see Olivier back on the Ninja ZX-RR for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. As Olivier will miss only one race there is no obligation for Kawasaki to field a replacement rider, although the possibility of running a second rider alongside Randy de Puniet will be discussed internally, with an announcement likely later this week."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE

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