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Abraham out of Sachsenring, replacement named
4 July 2012
Ducati test rider and former grand prix racer Franco Battaini will take Karel Abraham's place in this weekend's German MotoGP at Sachsenring.
According to his team, Abraham suffered "suffered several lacerations to the fingers and a broken fifth metacarpal bone (little finger)" during a post-Catalunya testing accident, ruling the Cardion AB Ducati rider out of the following British round.
The Czech was then forced to abandon a comeback at last weekend's Assen round after continuing to struggle with the injury during practice and qualifying. Abraham, who said he didn't expect to ride this weekend, has scored points once so far this year.
"Assen showed us there was no point in racing at all costs, because with this handicap I can't perform at my maximum, and, at the same time, by straining my injured hand I'm just extending the recovery time needed to heal the break," said Abraham.
"Unfortunately, for a motorcycle rider this type of injury is really unlucky: it's one of the areas of the hand that is subject to tremendous strain, and if it's not completely healed, it puts a limit on what I can do.
"We simply have to hope that a two-week break is enough to regain fitness, and that I'll be able to return to the track at Mugello [July 13-15]."
Battaini made his grand prix debut in 1996 and most recent appearance in 2006. The Italian raced almost exclusively in the 250cc class (he spent the 2005 season in MotoGP with WCM) claiming seven podiums and four poles on the two-strokes.
"Franco is an experienced and top-class rider, who has already worked with us during our second pre-season tests at Sepang [pictured], when Kája [Karel] had to pull out due to a back injury," said Abraham's father and team manager Karel Sr.
"At that time he was an enormous help in enabling us to set up Kája's bike, and I think the collaboration worked out really well for all of us. I'm confident this relationship will continue to prosper this weekend."
39-year-old Battaini joined Ducati's test and development team shortly after Vittoriano Guareschi stepped up to team manager, following Livio Suppo's switch to Honda at the end of 2009.
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