MotoGP rider Nicky Hayden suffers broken ribs in training accident

• Former world champion takes tumble during winter workout
• ‘Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident’

The former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden broke two ribs and a shoulder blade during a training accident in Kentucky this week, the American’s Ducati team said on Thursday.

Hayden suffered the injuries near his home in Owensboro and has since had x-rays, a CT scan and an MRI.

Ducati said no surgery had been scheduled but the 30-year-old rider, who was training for the first time since breaking a wrist in the Valencia Grand Prix in November, would have the fractures assessed by a specialist in California next week.

“Obviously, injuries are never good but it’s part of motorcycle racing,” Hayden said in a statement released by Ducati. “Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident. I was starting to train again, like I normally do during the winter, at a private track near my house. I came up behind another rider, and he went to move out of the way.

“I wasn’t going that fast, but he clipped my front wheel and I went down and landed pretty hard on my left shoulder, and that was it.”

Hayden, who became MotoGP world champion in 2006, added: “It’s disappointing, but there’s nothing to do about it but heal quickly. Anyway, this doesn’t change my expectations for 2012 which, fortunately, is just around the corner.”

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Suzuki to suspend MotoGP operation due to ‘tough circumstances’

• Japanese manufacturer will not compete for two years
• Suzuki blames ‘prolonged recession’ for suspension

Suzuki has confirmed it will not race in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship after deciding to suspend its participation in the series.

The Japanese manufacturer had been expected to quit MotoGP, having already lost the Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista to Honda for next season, but it has announced a planned return for the 2014 season.

Bautista finished the 2011 season in 13th place but has already signed to race for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team next season.

A statement released by Suzuki read: “Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend temporarily its participation in FIM Road Racing Grand Prix MotoGP from 2012.

“This suspension is to cope with tough circumstances mainly caused by the prolonged recession in developed countries, a historical appreciation of Japanese yen and repeated natural disasters.

“Having an eye to returning to MotoGP in 2014, Suzuki will now focus on developing a competitive new racing machine for that class.

“Suzuki will continue motocross racing activity and support of road racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles, by obtaining FIM homologation and co-operation with the supplier of its development racing kit parts.”

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MotoGP sets 18-round world championship calendar for 2012

• Silverstone to host British round on 17 June
• Four races in Spain, two in US

The MotoGP world championship will start under floodlights in Qatar once again next year and end at Spain’s Valencia circuit, the series organisers said on Wednesday.

The governing International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) issued a provisional 18-round calendar with no new additions and four Spanish races.

The United States has two races, now separated by three weeks, at Laguna Seca in California and Indianapolis.

Provisional 2012 calendar

15 April* Qatar

29 April Spain (Jerez)

6 May Portugal (Estoril)

20 May France (Le Mans)

3 June Catalunya (Barcelona)

17 June Britain (Silverstone)

30 June** Netherlands (Assen)

8 July Germany (venue to be confirmed)

15 July Italy (Mugello)

29 July*** US (Laguna Seca)

19 Aug Indianapolis

26 Aug Czech Republic (Brno)

16 Sept San Marino (Misano)

30 Sept Aragón (Motorland Aragón, Spain)

14 Oct Japan (Motegi)

21 Oct Malaysia (Sepang)

28 Oct Australia (Phillip Island)

11 Nov Valencia (Ricardo Tormo)

* Evening race

** Saturday race

*** MotoGP only, no other classes

Spain (Jerez), Portugal and Germany are all subject to contract.

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Valentino Rossi eager to return to MotoGP in Germany this weekend

• MotoGP champion could return 39 days after breaking leg
• Valentino Rossi happy that his doctors think he is fit to ride

Valentino Rossi is set to make a remarkable comeback from a badly broken leg by racing in this weekend’s MotoGP round in Germany.

Rossi, 31, suffered a compound fracture to his right leg in a crash during practice for his home grand prix at Mugello in Italy just 39 days ago, but is hoping to be back on the grid at the Sachsenring on Sunday.

The reigning champion said: “I’m really excited that my doctors think I can ride this weekend. Tomorrow I will see the medical officer and then we will have the final decision.”

Rossi stunned doctors and fans alike by taking part in a test on a Yamaha superbike on Wednesday last week, and followed that up with a second test on Monday.

The Italian completed 46 laps of the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic on Monday and has decided he is fit enough to race his Fiat Yamaha this weekend.

It is a remarkable return from the seven-times MotoGP champion, who was expected to be out for around four months. He said: “I know my MotoGP bike at the track is a different thing and it will be hard for me, but I miss my bike and my team and I want to try.

“I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and being back in the paddock; I was tired of being at home! Wataru Yoshikawa will be there as well, so if there is a problem he will ride my bike again.”

The test rider Yoshikawa has filled in for Rossi at the last two grands prix.

Rossi’s team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, has taken advantage of the Italian’s absence to win the past three races and put himself in control of this year’s championship.

Rossi is over 100 points behind Lorenzo and the team manager, Davide Brivio, admits he expects the champion to take time to find his best form.

Brivio said: “Valentino has made a big effort to be ready to race in Sachsenring this weekend. He really wanted to be back riding his bike as soon as he could and so he’s worked hard to make his recovery as quick as possible.

“We expect him to take a couple of races to be up to speed and competitive at the top after his injury, but it’s very nice to see him back with us.”

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Valentino Rossi throws off crutches to finish fourth on MotoGP return

• Dani Pedrosa wins German grand prix ahead of Jorge Lorenzo
• Rossi just outside podium places six weeks after breaking leg

Valentino Rossi missed out on a podium finish on his return from a broken leg as Dani Pedrosa breathed life back into the MotoGP title race with victory in the German grand prix at the Sachsenring. A fourth-place finish capped an amazing comeback weekend for Rossi, who qualified fifth yesterday, six weeks after suffering a compound fracture of his right shin in a horrific highside in Italian grand prix practice at Mugello.

The 31-year-old, who has been able to walk around the paddock only with the aid of crutches, could not match the pace of the title contenders Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, but the Fiat Yamaha rider was more than a match for the rest of the field, enjoying a superb battle with his old foe Casey Stoner during the closing laps.

Rossi was delighted with his performance but also went out of his way to criticise Stoner, accusing the Australian of only raising his game when he had caught him. The pair have enjoyed an intense rivalry since Stoner joined Ducati in 2007, and their magnificent battle at the 2008 United States Grand Prix in Laguna Seca ended with Stoner accusing his rival of dangerous riding.

“I have never been so happy for a fourth place. I’m happy with the way I drove, but I lacked a bit of feeling,” said Rossi. “I competed with everyone, only against Dovizioso did I lose time. I had a great battle with Stoner, when he saw me he really let loose, but MotoGP needs these type of races. The next time I should wear the colours of some other rider. If Stoner had finished behind me he would have whined like he did at Laguna Seca in the past years, but this is racing.”

Rossi also paid tribute to the medical team who have helped him make his remarkable recovery. He said: “I want to thank everyone who helped me return to the track. Now I’m thinking about Laguna Seca where I will aim for the podium.”

For Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa the win ends Lorenzo’s run of three straight victories and sees him close his Spanish compatriot’s lead at the top of the standings to 47 points. Pedrosa got the jump to lead into turn one at the start, as Rossi dropped to seventh, but Lorenzo quickly made his move at the end of lap two to take over at the front.

Things remained the same at the front while Rossi moved up to fifth before the race was red flagged after an accident involving the Honda of Randy de Puniet. The Frenchman fell and his bike was hit by Aleix Espargaró and the Suzuki of Alvaro Bautista. With pieces of the three bikes scattered across the track, officials stopped the race. De Puniet suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg.

Pedrosa again took the lead from Lorenzo at the restart, and once again the Yamaha rider reclaimed the advantage at the end of the opening lap. Rossi had dropped to sixth but he passed Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso to move to fourth.

At the front Lorenzo could not shake off the attentions of Pedrosa. The Honda rider had an ambitious but unsuccessful lunge at turn one on lap eight, but one lap later Pedrosa completed the pass and he would not be headed for the rest of the race, with Lorenzo forced to settle for second.Rossi worked his way on to the back wheel of Stoner, the 2007 world champion, and the pair enjoyed a wonderful battle during the final nine laps as the Yamaha and Ducati swapped places. The battle was settled when Stoner forced Rossi wide at the final corner to give himself an easy run to the finish line

Hayden and Dovizioso finished fifth and sixth with Marco Simoncelli, Ben Spies, Hector Barbera and Marco Melandri completing the top 10. Loris Capirossi and Alex de Angelis were the last riders home in 11th and 12th.

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