Crutchlow Undergoes Surgery

Henny Ray Abrams | April 8, 2011

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow expects to be fully fit when the MotoGP World Championship resumes after surgery to correct an arm pump problem that’s plagued him for the first two races of his rookie season.The surgery was the second recent procedure for the Brit, who also had an operation to correct a shoulder defect in early December. That operation, which was similar to what Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi underwent in November, was performed to correct the damage to his left shoulder suffered in a test crash at Portimao, Portugal late in 2009. Crutchlow recovered well from that surgery and was on form in the first two races. The former World Supersport champion finished 11th in his MotoGP debut in Qatar and eighth in last week’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, after falling and remounting in the accident-strewn race.This week’s operation, meant to alleviate muscle tension that trapped nerves and caused numbness in his right hand and arm, was performed at the Policlinico di Modena in Italy, a hospital that specializes in hand and arm surgery. He remains under the observation of the Clinica Mobile staff and Dr. Claudio Costa, who will be following him all through his recovery.With 21 days to the start of practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, Crutchlow is confident he’ll be up to speed.

“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,” Crutchlow said. “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.”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. 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.”Added team manager Herve Poncharal, ” To have surgery once the season has started is always a worry, but I think Cal made the right decision as we have this long break now before the next race in Portugal. If he didn’t have the operation the problem could get bigger and bigger, and you need to be at 100%.”Crutchlow isn’t the only rider to take advantage of the break to go under the knife. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa underwent surgery earlier in the week to repair a problem that’s caused a loss of feeling in his left arm.


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.