Luthi fights through pain barrier to podium

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Luthi fights through pain barrier to podium
Monday, 17 June 2013

Tom Luthi’s podium finish in the Catalan Grand Prix marked, not only his first top three result since the Czech race of last year, but the first since a heavy accident in Valencia during pre-season testing.

Luthi was forced to miss the opening pair of races this season and is still yet to fully recover from the Valencia crash, which involved being hit by Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2’s Ratthapark Wilairot; the impact left Luthi with fractures to his right arm, elbow and shoulder. In Barcelona last weekend, he demonstrated strong pace in practice before battling to third position from tenth on the starting grid.

“It has been a very tough time for my team and I,” the Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing rider told motogp.com. “First of all I just have to say thank you to everybody who has supported me in this tough time. It was sometimes really sad and it was hard to come back, but we have fought for it. This podium is not a victory, but it feels like a victory – like a stone has fallen out of my heart.”

“This was the most important race of this year,” added manager Daniel Epp. “We of course knew that he could win races and have podiums, but with his injury we didn’t know how long it would take to get back. I don’t think the next two races will be very easy, because he still has problems with going fast in a group, but over the summer we will have four weeks off and he will do everything to be back 100% for Indianapolis.”

“I have to keep both feet on the ground and keep fighting,” Luthi adds. “It wasn’t a fight against the two at the front, as I had no chance, but it was a fight against my arm. I still have to recover, train at home and do a lot of physiotherapy, but I think we can be stronger with every weekend – that is what I hope for now.”

The Swiss rider, 125 World Champion of 2005, is yet to finish outside the overall top five of Moto2™ since the class replaced the 250 tier from the start of 2010.

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