During his debut races in MotoGP, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow has finished 11th in Qatar, and then eighth in Jerez last weekend.
But the Brit has struggled with arm pump issues in 2011 MotoGP; Crutchlow’s “muscles in his right arm were trapping nerves and causing numbness in his right hand and arm while riding his YZR-M1 machine,” the satellite Yamaha team reported.
Since the MotoGP field won’t be back on the track until May 1 at Estoril, Portugal, Crutchlow decided to undergo surgery Thursday in Modena, Italy, to cure these arm pump issues.
Crutchlow underwent the successful surgery at the Policlinico di Modena, a hospital that specialises in hand and arm surgery, under the supervision of Dr Antonio Landi. Yamaha says the YZR-M1 pilot is under observation of the Clinica Mobile staff and Dr. Costa who will be following him all way through his recovery.
Monster Tech 3 says Crutchlow, the teammate of American Colin Edwards, will have stitches removed in 12 days time and he is confident he will be fully fit when practice for the Estoril round in Portugal commences on April 29.
Cal Crutchlow (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) says: “Since the start of the year I’ve had a problem with my arm muscles and nerves and my hand went numb when I was riding. It started in Sepang in testing and it occurs each time I ride the bike.
“Therefore we decided to do this operation to solve the issue, so I can be in 100 percent physical condition for the rest of the season. With this break we have now, it was the perfect time to have the surgery and be assured that I can be back in peak condition for the next race in Portugal.
“At the moment I can’t feel two of my fingers, but the doctor said that is completely normal and that the feeling will come back very soon. They had to move the muscles from the nerves as the muscle was trapping the nerves and that’s why I was losing feeling in my hand and arm. The doctors said that in 12 days the stitches will come off and I will be able to ride in Portugal, so I’m really looking forward to riding the bike without the problem with my arm.”
Herve Poncharal (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team Manager) says: “To have surgery once the season has started is always a worry, but I think Cal made the right decision as we have this long break now before the next race in Portugal. If he didn’t have the operation the problem could get bigger and bigger, and you need to be at 100 percent to ride in MotoGP and be competitive.
“I remember Marco Melandri had the same problem in 2004 and he had the same surgery between Catalunya and Assen, which were back-to-back races. He had the surgery on the Monday after the race in Spain and only five days later he was on the podium in Assen and it was no problem.
“Cal has much more time to recover, so we hope to see him without this problem and continuing his amazing start for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Estoril. We are very happy with his progress so far and hopefully now he will be free from the arm problem we will only see him getting stronger.”