MotoGP: Surgery for Cal Crutchlow

April 8, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow has gone under the knife to resolve arm pump issues. The Tech 3 Yamaha rider had corrective surgery April 7th in Italy at the Policlinico di Modena. The operation to Crutchlow’s right arm should have the Englishman fit in time for Round 3 of the series, April 29 at Estoril.

Cal Crutchlow underwent surgery on April 7 to resolve arm pump issues during the opening two rounds at Qatar and Jerez.
Cal Crutchlow underwent surgery on April 7 to resolve arm pump issues which hindered the British rider during the opening two rounds at Qatar and Jerez.

Crutchlow noted arm pump issues early in the pre-season, including the first two rounds of the MotoGP championship. Said the 2009 World Supersport champion in a team press statement: “Since the start of the year I’ve had a problem with my arm muscles and nerves and my hand went numb when I was riding. It started in Sepang in testing and it occurs each time I ride the bike. Therefore, we decided to do this operation to solve the issue, so I can be in 100% physical condition for the rest of the season.”

The four-week break between Jerez and Estoril should allow Crutchlow time to recover. The British rider claimed 11th at his MotoGP debut at Qatar, with an eighth-place result last weekend at Jerez – a wild race that saw the Tech 3 rider running toward a potential top-five result before crashing. Like many other riders in the wet, incident-filled race, Crutchlow was able to remount and still tally a top-10 result.

“With this break we have now, it was the perfect time to have the surgery and be assured that I can be back in peak condition for the next race in Portugal,” said the 25-year-old. “At the moment I can’t feel two of my fingers, but the doctor said that is completely normal and that the feeling will come back very soon. They had to move the muscles from the nerves as the muscle was trapping the nerves and that’s why I was losing feeling in my hand and arm. The doctors said that in 12 days the stitches will come off and I will be able to ride in Portugal, so I’m really looking forward to riding the bike without the problem with my arm.”

Though the Grand Prix season is young, with just two of 18 rounds completed, a sizable portion of the slim MotoGP roster is either banged up or recovering from surgery. Taking advantage of the month-long break, Danny Pedrosa also underwent surgery to restore the loss of sensation in his arm and hand that hindered his effectiveness – most notably in the Qatar opener. Valentino Rossi is also still struggling with lingering shoulder issues. Another rider dealing with shoulder woes is Pramac Racing’s Loris Capirossi, a team press announcement claiming the GP vet is shooting for 80-85% of full fitness by Estoril. The lone rider for the Rizla Suzuki squad, Alvaro Bautista, is another premier class casualty, out indefinitely after breaking his femur at the Qatar opener.