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Le Mans: ‘I have around 22 stitches’ - Iannone

16 May 2013

Having undergone arm pump surgery since the Spanish MotoGP, Andrea Iannone arrived for this weekend's Le Mans round with stitches still in place - and not certain that he will be fit to ride.

The Pramac Ducati rookie, who also sustained a knee injury at Jerez, will test his condition during Friday practice.

“I can say that we're in decent shape. Ever since the operation [last] Tuesday, the arm has been steadily improving,” he began. “Now, though, it's difficult to say: I think I'll only really be able to understand my condition after doing some laps on the bike, so that I have a chance to try accelerating and braking and doing the movements that I normally do when I ride.

“My scar is really big; I have around 22 stitches that I'll remove as soon as possible. That's another reason that we'll have to wait until tomorrow; I think that after the first session, I'll understand what's possible. It would certainly help us if it rains, but we'll see. I'm here, and I want to try.”

Iannone's team-mate Ben Spies is already confirmed as absent, for the second race in succession, to undergo further shoulder rehabilitation. Ducati test rider Michel Pirro will take the Texan's place, having ridden to eleventh place as a wild-card at Jerez.

“I'm happy to have this opportunity. This weekend I'll use the same bike that Ben would have used,” said Pirro, who used the development 'lab' Desmosedici in Spain. “I'm sorry for him because I know he's struggling due to his shoulder injury, and since MotoGP bikes are very physical, if you're not truly fit, riding is difficult.

“I hope to do my best and to repay the trust that the guys from the team and Ducati have placed in me. We're really working hard.”


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