Sete Gibernau has been declared fit to ride in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, and following the controversial final corner collision between the Spaniard and Valentino Rossi, their rivalry has reached a feverish intensity.
Sete Gibernau has been declared fit to ride in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, and following the controversial final corner collision between the Spaniard and Valentino Rossi, their rivalry has reached a feverous intensity.
In the opening round of the MotoGP championship at Jerez in Spain last week, the feud between reigning champion Rossi and Gibernau erupted into an out-and-out fight for the top position. Rossi took the honours, while Gibernau finished in a disappointing second place in front of his adoring fans.
But “The Doctor” is looking forward to this weekend's race at Estoril, where he has won the last four successive races. There were reports that Gibernau would not be racing at Estoril after aggravating an injury to his left shoulder in the collision with Rossi. However, the latest reports indicate that the Spaniard will line up at the start of Sunday's two-wheeled showdown.
"I'm feeling very highly motivated for the Portuguese Grand Prix and the only thing I'm thinking about is recovering as well as I possibly can and continuing in the same way that we have started the championship. It's a shame there isn't an extra week between the races to be in better shape but I'm confident that it will have a minimal effect on our work," Gibernau said.
His Honda team-mate, Marco Melandri, will be hoping to re-impress this weekend, after his first podium finish for his new team went virtually unnoticed in the Rossi/Gibernau fracas.
After crashing out of third place in last weekend's race, Nicky Hayden has his sights set on a podium finish in Portugal this week. His team-mate, the veteran Max Biaggi, recovered from a dreadful start to finish seventh in Spain, and will want to record a more convincing finish this weekend.
Japanese rider Makoto Tamada will also be in hot pursuit. He started the race in pole position last year and finished second behind Rossi.
The line-up this weekend will be peppered with riders recovering from injuries. Marlboro Ducati's Capirossi rode with a broken bone in his left ankle following a crash in practice last week, and finished 13th behind his new team-mate, Carlos Checa.
It was also announced that Shane Byrne will be fit to ride his KTM-powered machine despite crashing his scooter on Sunday night in Jerez. He was thrown over the handlebars while riding with Chaz Davies, Casey Stoner and Alex Hofmann and escaped with 'skinned' hands and a bruised arm.
Meanwhile, Alex Hofmann will not be allowed to race following an embarrassing crash during a demonstration at Estoril on Thursday, much to the astonishment of the crowds and television crews.
"I don't know what happened", declared Hofmann. "I didn't get on the gas that hard, but the rear still came round on me without any warning. I guess it was just a combination of cold tyres and a slippery road. It's bad enough crashing at any time, but to do it at 40 kph during a demonstration parade is incredibly embarrassing. I didn't want to take my helmet off in front of the crowd, because they'd have been able to see how red my face was!"
"And if crashing in front of a crowd wasn't bad enough, there were also quite a few television crews in attendance. Most of the people in the paddock had already seen the crash on television before I'd even got back to the track, so I know I'm going to have to put up with a few jokes at my expense this weekend."
While damage to his Ninja ZX-RR was limited to a broken footrest and a few scratches on the fairing, Hofmann hit his left hand hard on the floor during the crash and was later diagnosed as having cracked two small bones in his wrist.
Original article from Car