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Gibernau injured in Le Mans practice.

Sete Gibernau has been ruled out of the remainder of the French Grand Prix weekend after sustaining a suspected double fracture of his left collarbone during a Saturday morning free practice highside at Le Mans.

The double MotoGP World Championship runner-up, returning to race action this season after two years in retirement, has been dogged by shoulder injuries for much of his career.

Gibernau dislocated his collarbone when he crashed out of the lead of the 2002 Portuguese Grand Prix on a Suzuki GSV-R, suffered a left shoulder tendon injury during his last turn clash with Valentino Rossi at Jerez 2005, then damaged the same shoulder further when he fell in practice for the following Estoril round.

At the 2006 Catalan Grand Prix, Gibernau broke his left collarbone after spectacularly tangling with Ducati team-mate Loris Capirossi at the start of the race.

Gibernau required a further operation shortly after when the titanium plate inserted to help his collarbone heal was found to have weakened.

The new plate was in turn damaged when Gibernau hit Casey Stoner's fallen Honda in the penultimate round of the season, again at Estoril, marking the end of Gibernau's factory Ducati - and, it seemed - MotoGP career.

Before making his 2009 MotoGP comeback, Gibernau had the metal plate removed from his collarbone, only to suffer shoulder ligament damage during training - forcing him to miss the final pre-season test.

The 36-year-old was approaching full strength in his shoulder, having finished 13th and eleventh in the three rounds so far this year for the Francisco Hernando Ducati team. The #59 crashed out of round two in Japan.

Update: The Clinica Mobile reports that Gibernau is now returning to Spain for treatment and aiming to make a comeback at his home Catalan Grand Prix on June 14, meaning he will definitely miss the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on May 29-31.

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Chris - Unregistered

May 16, 2009 11:38 AM

That's a bit of a silly comment Poodle. As far as I'm aware, Haga suffered no damage to tendons, muscles and ligaments in his break, so physically speaking, he was still able ti ride the bike if he could handle the pain. Where as Sete has had some major damage to all the tissue around his collarbone. I'm not entirely convinced it was 100% before this and now... well I cant see how he could be expected to ride. Good luck to Sete, dissapointed to only have 17 bikes on the grid. It's becoming a bit of a joke really. (especially if you consider that Kawasaki have probably got another perfectly good bike kicking around)

steveoh - Unregistered

May 16, 2009 12:56 PM

Poor Sete, I wonder if this will knock him back as everyones saying. What was his motivation for coming back? Surely he doesnt think he can still be champion? Who will be on the bike in Italy? I say drag Marchinello Lucchi off of his dustcart and put him on the bike!

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