Recovering Luthi striving for more podiums

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Recovering Luthi striving for more podiums
Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Tom Luthi’s podium finish in the Catalan Grand Prix was his first of 2013 and first since the Czech Grand Prix in 2012. More significantly, it was the first since a large pre-season testing accident in Valencia which left the Swiss rider with significant worries.

The crash, which also involved Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2’s Ratthapark Wilairot, resulted in Luthi becoming tangled up with his Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing Suter. As a result, he was forced to miss the first two races of the season.

"It was the last day of testing and an in-lap, actually," Luthi recalls. "I was eight metres off the line and leaving space for other riders to pass on the inside. At Turn 3 – a very fast corner in which you have to put the throttle on, otherwise you lose the front – Wilairot crashed on the inside and hit the back of my bike. I fell off the bike and, maybe nobody knows this, but my right arm went into the rear wheel – between the swingarm and the wheel. That was the problem and why I had this big injury.

"All of the bones in that area of the arm were broken and it was quite difficult to rebuild the arm again. I was in hospital (in Switzerland) for about one week and I lost a lot of blood during the surgery. At that point I couldn’t think about riding but wanted to go home, then (afterwards) something clicked in my head and I started to get thoughts of wanting to come back on the bike and to fight for it again."

Having returned to action at the Spanish GP, with a premature Texas comeback having failed to work out, Luthi was pleasantly surprised to score points by finishing the Jerez race 11th. Three events further into the calendar, he finished third from tenth on the grid at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.

"I was quite motivated and then went to Catalunya and the weekend went well," continues the 26-year-old from Linden, in the Swiss canton of Bern. "I could push, working with the bike and the team, so it was like a normal weekend. Finishing on the podium was an incredible day for me…I was smiling in my head during the race.

"The target for me is clear. I have to work more and more, even after the podium finish. It was a big motivation and it showed me that it is possible; it is possible with this bike and the team is doing a good job, so I can do it, but now we need to keep working."

Luthi has been on the MotoGP™ scene since 2002, when he made his debut in 125s. His first podium finish came in the 125 Catalan GP of 2003 and he would win for the first time in the 2005 125 French GP before going on to clinch the title. He progressed to the intermediate tier in 2007 and his pair of Moto2™ victories to date have come at Sepang and Le Mans in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

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