Carlo Checa's MotoGP return came to a disappointing end when the Spanish star, third in this year's World Superbike Championship, withdrew from Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix due to crippling pain in his right forearm.

Starting his first MotoGP race since 2007 from 17th and last after the cancellation of qualifying, Checa began to suffer arm-pump after just a few laps, dropping him from eleventh to last by lap 13 of 28, when he retired.

The 38-year-old blamed the arm-pump on a lack of set-up time, although its worth noting that another Superbike rider, Michel Fabrizio, retired with exactly the same problem during a one-off ride for Pramac at Brno 2009.

"My bike was perfect, but my forearm, unfortunately not," said Checa. "I feel sorry for the technicians who worked for me this weekend and for the Pramac Racing Team, for not having completed today's race.

"The bike I got to ride in Superbike this year is very different from the MotoGP given to me by the Pramac Racing Team and I never got the possibility to try it on the dry asphalt condition for more than ten laps, this certainly haven't helped me.

"After six laps my forearm pain was really insufferable, I could not properly use the brake, my lap pace was not very good as the beginning of the race, and because of the pain I could not be able to be as fast as I wanted.

"I tried to keep it until the end, but the pain was too strong to complete the fifteen laps that had separated me from the chequered flag. I hope that in Valencia the weather condition will be kind with me so that I can be able to have a good race weekend."

Pramac hope that extra track time will solve the problem at this weekend's Valencia finale.

"Carlos had never got the possibility to try the bike on the dry track and this have not allowed him to ride the bike in the best way and to find the right riding position that would allow him to avoid him having to use too much his right forearm," said technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini.

"I'm sure that if he had got the possibility to full race the first free practice and yesterday's qualifying session, he could be able to do a good race today."

Regular Pramac rider Aleix Espargaro crashed out on lap one.

"I cannot understand what happened," said the Spaniard, now confirmed as moving to Moto2 next year. "I made a very good start, moving from eleventh to ninth position after the first sector. Then suddenly, while I was turning in to a curve, even not one of the fastest of the circuit, I completely lost the rear of my bike as I had found a patch of oil or something very slippery. I tried to go back in the saddle, but my bike was already turned off."


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