Gibernau crashes, fractures collarbone in Le Mans

Sete Gibernau has fractured his collarbone in two places and suffered shoulder ligament damage in a nasty Saturday morning highside, ruling him out of any further in the Grand Prix de France as he flies back to Barcelona for surgery.

The Spaniard fell heavily on his left shoulder in the crash, reinjuring himself after a preseason plagued with collarbone problems on the same side. It is the third time that he has incurred a clavicle fracture in a fall.

Team manager Pablo Nieto commented, "It is a real shame and it is very bad luck because Sete was already coming back from a shoulder injury and had been improving steadily. Things were going well here at this track and then this has happened. The important thing now is for Sete to get back to Barcelona to the doctors he has always visited during his career and they will help us decide what to do next."

"Obviously it will all hinge on how much time he needs to recover which could be longer than for a young rider. It is really tough for the whole team to accept, including for Sete himself of course, because we are all giving so much effort to this project."