Melandri injured on first day wash-out at Estoril. The Fortuna Yamaha Team's pre-season testing programme has once again been blighted by bad weather. Having moved from Jerez in southern Spain, where the MotoGP teams effectively lost one of the...
Melandri injured on first day wash-out at Estoril.
The Fortuna Yamaha Team's pre-season testing programme has once again been blighted by bad weather. Having moved from Jerez in southern Spain, where the MotoGP teams effectively lost one of the three days' testing to bad weather, it was a similar story on day one of two at Estoril in Portugal. The Fortuna Yamaha Team in particular has suffered the effect of the elements this winter. The factory Yamaha squad wrote-off a rain-soaked three-day test in Jerez in January and today the rain caught out new-signing Marco Melandri. The 20-year-old Italian was testing Michelin's wet tyres when he low-sided on an uphill chicane on his second lap in the rain. He was taken to the Clinica Mobile where the medical staff confirmed that his right collar bone had separated from the shoulder blade.
Melandri had completed 22 laps prior to the fall with a best time of 1'43.8 on his first visit to Estoril with his new Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP machine. The injury will see the 2002 250cc World Champion return home, but he is expected back in action for the team's next scheduled test in Barcelona on 15/16 March.
The riders had enjoyed a brief spell in dry conditions before lunch, but the rain came soon after the mandatory one-hour break. Melandri's team-mate Carlos Checa managed a total of just 27 laps today, including some in the wet. The Spaniard recorded a fastest time of 1'42.1 on his seventh of fourteen dry laps aboard the latest evolution Yamaha YZR-M1.
Team Director Davide Brivio commented on the day's events: "Today's conditions were very difficult but it was a real shame that Marco fell. We've had more than our fair share of rain during testing this winter and he has coped with the conditions pretty well. But we all know that these things can happen. Thankfully it is not more serious and he'll be back with us in Barcelona after a bit of rest.
"Carlos did some work on wet set-up with his new bike, but when the track started drying in some places it wasn't worth carrying on."