Aoyama to miss first European Grand Prix in Jerez

2007-03-16 03:18
Due to the injury that he suffered at the Qatar Grand Prix, Red Bull KTM 250 rider Hiroshi Aoyama will not take part at the first European round in Jerez next week. After his unlucky crash, which left him with considerable damage to skin and tendons of the little finger of his right hand, he flew straight back to Barcelona and underwent immediate surgery in the famous Clinica Santiago Dexeus. Dr. Xavier Mir, a popular microsurgeon who has helped numerous athletes and motorcycle racers in the past, reconstructed the tendons and immobilised the finger with a pin for the initial healing period. As the treatment has been a full success, Aoyama is recovering very quickly. But he will still follow his doctor's recommendation to give his finger additional rest and time, especially for the lost skin to grow back.

In the meantime, Red Bull KTM Technical Director Harald Bartol worked overtime in his Austrian workshop to solve the chattering problems that hampered all three Red Bull KTM 125 riders at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix last week. Thorough bench tests with current and with previous carburation systems confirmed that the engine set-up of Qatar had caused the trouble, and the problem was fixed for the upcoming round in Jerez.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Red Bull KTM 250)

My finger injury was not that serious, but I still spent two days in the hospital, because there was a lot of sand in the wound, and I had to undergo a thorough antibiotic treatment to avoid a possible infection. The operation itself went very well, Dr. Xavier Mir re-joined the tendon with artificial material and put a pin into my finger to keep it still. I can't move it and I have to keep it straight for a total of ten days, then the pin will come out again. After that, I will still need some time, because I lost a lot of skin, and before the wound hasn't healed up, it's easy to cause more damage or to get an infection. Of course I would like to race in Jerez, at least for some points, but I respect my doctor's recommendations. Xavi has done a fantastic job with the operation, I am very happy - in fact, the finger looks better now than before!"

Harald Bartol (Technical Director)

It's unfortunate for Hiroshi and for our team that he most likely won't be able to start in Jerez, but we have a long season ahead of us, and it is better to treat this injury without taking any risks. As far as our technical progress goes, we keep working on the rideability of our 125 cc machines. We have been able to confirm that the chattering in Qatar was caused by the engine, which wasn't running smoothly in a partly open throttle position. It looks as if our new carburettors need some more fine-tuning in terms of needle position and other details, because when I made engine tests with last year's carburettor, the problem was gone completely!"

Programme "3 plus" in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007
23 rookies will compete in the first European round in Jerez 2007.
On March 25th, Round 1 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007 gets under way at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain: The biggest talent search in motorcyle racing history will start its first race.

Originally, after the Selection Event at the "Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo" on 28 August 2006, the best twenty riders were selected and nominated for the Rookies Cup.

Under the auspices of Spanish motorcycling legend Alberto Puig and KTM's Race Director Harald Bartol, several additional reserve riders were chosen and also invited to further test sessions, run at Adria Raceway in Italy at the end of October, where the talent scouts were positively surprised, so that the level of performance, but also the quality of the young riders led to a change of mind.

In a "3 plus" programme, three additional riders were selected for the Rookies Cup 2007, so now a total of 23 riders from ten nations will participate in the biggest talent search in international motorcyle racing so far, powered by Dorna and Red Bull.

These young talents come from Germany, Italy, Norway, Great Britain, the USA, the Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Hungary and Spain. Over the past two weeks three further test sessions were held at Jerez and Valencia to prime the 23 riders for the start of the season at the end of March (see list). Several riders were already able to put themselves in the limelight as possible podium contenders - e.g. American Cameron Beaubier, Johann Zarco (FRA), Lorenzo Savadori (ITA), Jamie Mossey (GB) and Cristian Trabalon Laso (ESP) among others.

The sole lady in the field, Lucy Gloeckner from Germany, ran consistently in the top eight.

Harald Bartol: "It was a pleasant problem for us to suddenly have 23 almost level young riders at our disposal. We wanted to guarantee the highest quality possible and therefore decided to expand our Cup accordingly! The fact that ten riders should be good for podium positions is especially gratifying."

The seven races of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2007:
25 March 2007 Jerez/ESP
2 June 2007 Mugello/ITA
24 June 2007 Donington/GB
30 June 2007 Assen/NL
15 July 2007 Sachsenring/GER
19 Aug 2007 Brno/CZ
4 Nov 2007 Valencia/ESP

Source: KTM Sportmotorcycles AG

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