The Jerez medical center has been a busy place for the past hour, with riders coming and going for their medical assessments. Cal Crutchlow, Marc Marquez, and Alex Rins all had to pass a fitness test before being given the all clear to test. All three have been declared fit, and will attempt to ride tomorrow, to assess their fitness on the bike.
Cal Crutchlow fractured his left scaphoid in a crash during Sunday warm up at Jerez last week, and had the scaphoid pinned in place. Although the pinned scaphoid will be painful, he should not have too many problems riding, especially as the injury is to his left hand, rather than his right. Jerez is a clockwise circuit with a lot of right hand corners, and all the hard braking at the circuit is done on the right.
Alex Rins had dislocated his right shoulder and cracked his humerus in a heavy fall at Turn 11 during qualifying. Rins did not need surgery, and has been undergoing intensive therapy to be ready for Jerez. The Suzuki Ecstar rider did sustain some ligament damage, and that will determine how capable his of riding.
Marc Marquez suffered a dislocated fracture of the humerus in his right upper arm, when he crashed during the race and had the front wheel of his Repsol Honda RC213V hit his arm as he and his bike entered the gravel on the exit of Turn 3. At first, doctors feared he had suffered nerve damage, but that proved not to be the case. Marquez had surgery to put the bone back into place and to insert a titanium plate to fix the bone on Tuesday, and decided on Wednesday night to try to ride.
Though the doctors passed him medically fit to race - a judgment that he has enough strength in the arm to control the bike sufficiently that he is not a danger to his fellow competitors - actually riding at the track will be tough. Jerez asks a lot of the right side of a rider's body, and will place a lot of stress on Marquez' injured right arm.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as Rins, Crutchlow, and Marquez all get on their bikes on Friday morning for FP1.
Marc Marquez will sit out all of Friday, and will only ride on Saturday to assess his fitness. Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig gave a statement to the media, saying the following:
"Nobody expected to see him here. I mean when the accident happened we were very worried and of course he had to go to Barcelona for surgery. Surgery went, frankly speaking, spectacularly well. We didn't expect - I mean, we know the doctor is good but it was a fantastic job. And after surgery the rider started to feel very well. He started to contact us, saying 'I'm not so bad. I feel well. I'm not having so much pain. I can move the arm'. The nerve situation, as the doctor informed, was okay."
"So originally clearly the Honda position was to cancel this race and to try in Brno. But after what we saw of Marc's wish, after what the doctors said today, declaring him fit, I mean we came to a let's say understanding position that he will try on Saturday and depending on how he's feeling he will try to race or not. But we asked him to check on Saturday first and really understand if he is really capable of doing the distance or not. In case it's too risky, Marc already understood that our idea will be to cancel the race. But from last Sunday to today, things have been going so fast and so quickly that frankly speaking we are very surprised."
Explain the decision to way until Saturday?
"Yes, if it was a new track it would be more difficult. But we have been here for five days so the setup of the bike we know, he knows exactly how to ride the bike on this track. So it's no meaning to try Friday and to give more stress to the injury. So he will try Saturday and after that we will see. But it was very important for Honda and for the Repsol Honda team to also respect the rider's wish. So we get this compromise and then we will see the result on Saturday."