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April 2015

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon iRacing.com and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Marquez injures hand in training crash

April 25th, 2015

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MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has undergone surgery after injuring his left hand in a training crash on Saturday. Marquez had an accident while riding on a dirt track and fractured his little finger. He was operated on by regular MotoGP surgeon Dr Xavier Mir at Barcelona’s Quiron Dexeus University hospital and had a titanium plate fitted. The next MotoGP round is just a week away, as the European season starts with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Dr Mir said: “The patient presented a deformity to the little finger of his left hand and a subsequent x-ray showed a fracture of the proximal phalanx, with displacement. “Therefore, we decided to treat the injury – as we would in the case of any other patient – by fixing a titanium [...]

Rossi: Marquez is ‘all or nothing’

April 20th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi described his Argentinean Grand Prix collision with Marc Marquez as an example of the reigning MotoGP champion being an “all or nothing” rider. Marquez crashed out of Sunday’s Termas de Rio Hondo race when he made contact with the rear of Rossi’s Yamaha on the penultimate lap. Rossi had overtaken the Honda at the end of the back straight, after an initial exchange of places at Turn 1, with Marquez then clipping him and falling while trying to repass. “It’s a shame that he crashed, but I think he did a mistake,” said Rossi. “Marc is a rider who always bets all in, all or nothing. “When I overtook, he touched me the first time. On acceleration he touched me again and we crashed. “It’s a shame because [...]

Rossi wins after clash with Marquez

April 19th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi took a dramatic MotoGP victory in Argentina after a clash with Marc Marquez on the penultimate lap. Marquez had made an early break and dominated most of the race, while Rossi fought his way through from eighth on the grid. But just before the race, Marquez decided to switch from Bridgestone’s extra-hard – prepared especially for the tyre-hungry Termas de Rio Hondo track – compound to the hard, putting him on the opposite strategy to the Yamahas. As Marquez’s tyres and pace faded, Rossi moved up to second place and began to chip away at what had been nearly a five-second lead. With three laps to go, the leaders were together. Rossi made his first move into Turn 1 on the penultimate lap, but Marquez was able to [...]

Marquez on pole, Suzuki on front row

April 18th, 2015

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Marc Marquez dominated qualifying for MotoGP’s Argentinean Grand Prix, with Aleix Espargaro his nearest rival in only Suzuki’s third race back. Marquez never looked like being beaten to pole at the Termas de Rio Hondo track. His initial provisional pole margin in Q2 was just under three tenths of a second, but as his rivals edged closer, he pulled his Honda half a second clear with a wild and spectacular 1m37.873s lap. No one else got near that, but just for good measure Marquez hopped onto his second bike for a final run and improved by another 0.035s. Suzuki was quickest in both Friday practice sessions and Espargaro maintained that strong form to grab second on the grid late on. He was 0.514s off Marquez, but 0.151s ahead of Ducati [...]

Marquez leads the way in Argentina

April 18th, 2015

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Marc Marquez led his first session of the Argentina MotoGP weekend as he edged out Cal Crutchlow in Saturday morning practice at Termas de Rio Hondo. Marquez’s late 1m38.602s for Honda was the first lap that beat Aleix Espargaro’s Friday benchmark on the Suzuki. LCR Honda rider Cruthlow got within 0.056 seconds of Marquez, making it the second time in a week that he had run the champion close in the crucial practice session following a similar performance at Austin last weekend. Espargaro was only fifth fastest this time but his Friday lap kept him third on the combined sheets and comfortably among those going straight into Q2. The Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso claimed third and fourth. Yamaha men Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi looked at risk [...]

Espargaro fastest again for Suzuki

April 17th, 2015

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Aleix Espargaro kept Suzuki on top in the second practice session for MotoGP’s Argentinean Grand Prix at Termas de Rio Hondo. Espargaro had given Suzuki the first session-leading result of its MotoGP comeback in the morning, and suggested that was not just a fluke in dirty track conditions as he led the afternoon too. The Suzuki’s best lap of 1m38.776s came on the medium tyre available to teams with concessions, as did second-placed Andrea Iannone’s time on the Pramac Ducati. Marc Marquez was the leading runner on hard tyres in third place for Honda, six tenths down on Espargaro. Cal Crutchlow used the extra-hard tyre to go fourth on the LCR Honda, with a lap that could have been better still had he not encountered the slower bike of Alex [...]

Suzuki tops first practice in Argentina

April 17th, 2015

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Suzuki led a session for the first time since its return to MotoGP as Aleix Espargaro set the practice one pace at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina. The usual order was thoroughly shuffled on the still relatively dirty track, with some riders pushing harder than others in the conditions. Both Suzukis had turns on top; Espargaro’s rookie team-mate Maverick Vinales enjoying a spell in first place too before slipping back to seventh. Three Ducatis followed Espargaro – factory Desmosedici riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso taking second and third ahead of Pramac man Yonny Hernandez, whose best lap came as he got a very, very close tow from Bradley Smith. Iannone’s session had begun badly as he had to park his primary bike at the trackside just minutes into [...]

Ducati title threat genuine says Marquez

April 15th, 2015

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Ducati will be a year-long MotoGP title threat with Andrea Dovizioso in 2015, reckons reigning champion Marc Marquez. Dovizioso has finished second in the opening two grands prix in Qatar and America, putting him second in the standings at present – one point behind leader Valentino Rossi and four ahead of Marquez. Although Honda rider Marquez was able to dominate at Austin for a third straight year last weekend, he said the fact Dovizioso’s Ducati was able to beat Rossi’s Yamaha to second suggested the Italian bike’s Losail pace was no fluke. “At the moment, you are looking to Andrea and Valentino but with all of my respect to Andrea, Valentino will be very strong,” Marquez said when asked who he saw as his title rivals. “But also with Andrea, [...]

Rossi set to race in MotoGP beyond 2016

April 14th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi already intends to stay in MotoGP beyond the end of his current Yamaha contract in 2016. The 36-year-old signed a new deal last season after his upsurge in form convinced him to continue racing following a tough period in which Rossi had admitted he had to prove to himself that he was still good enough. Rossi currently leads the 2015 world championship and said his intention was now to continue racing into 2017 and beyond. “I have a contract for two years and I hope it’s not the last one,” he said when asked about his longer-term future. The seven-time MotoGP champion’s last title came in 2009. While playing down the significance of his present points lead, he said his third place in last weekend’s Austin race was [...]

Marquez extends Austin winning streak

April 12th, 2015

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Honda rider Marc Marquez claimed the first victory of his 2015 MotoGP campaign in the Grand Prix of the Americas, maintaining his perfect Austin record in the process. Marquez won at the circuit in his 2013 and ’14 championship seasons, and made it three in a row with a dominant performance. The race was delayed just moments before the scheduled start, due to water patches being spotted beneath a Turn 3 footbridge, following overnight rain. When the race eventually got under way 35 minutes later, Andrea Dovizioso beat the polesitter off the line to take the lead into Turn 1, with Marquez settling in behind the Ducati. Dovizioso initially skipped away from the pack, but was quickly pegged back by Marquez, who then moved into the lead on lap five. [...]

Marquez on pole after sprint for spare

April 11th, 2015

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Marc Marquez took one of the most extraordinary poles of his MotoGP career at Austin after sprinting down pitlane for his spare Honda with under three minutes to go. Marquez had secured provisional pole by three tenths of a second early in Q2, but then struggled to restart his bike in the pitlane before the second runs. That proved the precursor to a more serious problem, as the Honda ground to a halt coming out of the final corner just as he was about to start his flying lap. Marquez parked next to the pitwall and sprinted down to the Honda garage, leaping onto his spare with just enough time to charge round on a rapid out-lap before the chequered flag. By that time he had been elbowed down to [...]

Marquez denies Crutchlow top spot

April 11th, 2015

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Marc Marquez edged out Cal Crutchlow to take the top spot in a largely dry third MotoGP practice at Austin. In a frantic final few moments of the session, Crutchlow moved his LCR Honda to the head of the times after dramatically improving in the final sector before Marquez arrived to claim the top spot for the factory team instead. Jorge Lorenzo overcame his troubles with bronchitis to claim third ahead of Yamaha team-mate, and Qatar race winner, Valentino Rossi. With rain expected to hit the Austin track during the morning, the majority of the field immediately headed out of the pits to try to improve their times as soon as the session went green. Yonny Herndandez brought out the yellow flags early on as the Colombian rider dropped his [...]

Marquez quickest as Austin dries

April 10th, 2015

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Marc Marquez denied Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone the top spot in what could be the only dry part of the Austin MotoGP weekend. Friday’s second practice session started slowly as the track remained damp from the earlier rain, but became frantically busy in the closing stages once it was possible to use slicks. With forecasts suggesting practice three on Saturday will be wet, Friday afternoon’s session became the critical one for earning a pass straight through to Q2. Amid incessant changes of position as the track improved with every lap, Espargaro brothers Pol and Aleix led the way for a while before Marquez, Crutchlow and Iannone all took turns on top. In the end it was world champion Marquez – who had been the last rider to try slicks [...]

Dovizioso tops wet Austin practice

April 10th, 2015

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Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso snatched top spot with a last-gasp effort in a wet opening MotoGP practice session at Austin, heading Honda’s Marc Marquez. As steady rain fell, the day’s programme was delayed by 50 minutes after an insufficient number of officials arrived, and after just 12 minutes the session was red flagged when a dog found its way onto the circuit. When running resumed 20 minutes later, Marquez wasted little time stamping his authority on proceedings, unseating Yonny Hernandez – who was the first rider into the 2m22s bracket – at the top of the order. He then improved again to a 2m20.617s, and was more than a second clear of the field before his challengers emerged in the final 10 minutes. Brit Scott Redding jumped up the order [...]

Rossi plays down Austin MotoGP chances

April 10th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi believes that there is little hope of him and Yamaha beating Marc Marquez at Austin this weekend despite his victory in the MotoGP-season-opening Qatar Grand Prix last month. Marquez is undefeated in MotoGP’s Grand Prix of the Americas so far – taking his maiden victory in the inaugural event in 2013 and dominating last year as well. Although Rossi believes Yamaha will be in better shape at Austin this season, he doubts he has a chance of repeating his Losail win. “Here will be a lot different. For me and for Yamaha, maybe this is not the best track,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most difficult. I’ve never been on the podium in the first two editions. “On this track Marc was always very, very [...]

Lorenzo: Helmet issue ‘human error’

April 9th, 2015

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Jorge Lorenzo says the helmet problem that ruined his Qatar Grand Prix was due to a ‘human error’ by a staff member at his MotoGP helmet supplier. Yamaha rider Lorenzo led much of the season-opener at Losail last month but tumbled to fourth in the closing stages after part of his helmet interior came loose and obscured his vision. Lorenzo said a mistake by someone at his helmet supplier HJC Helmets had been identified as the cause. “It was something that has never happened – an extraordinary failure, or mistake,” he said ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin. “I hope this thing will never happen again so I can race in the future with 100 per cent vision. “We guess it was a human mistake, [...]

Schwantz keen for more US MotoGP riders

April 9th, 2015

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MotoGP could “double” its crowds in America if it can generate more opportunities for riders from the United States, says 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz. Aspar’s Nicky Hayden will be the only American rider in three grand prix classes at this weekend’s Austin round. From 1978 to 1993, US riders won all bar three of the premier 500cc class titles, with championships shared between Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Schwantz. Hayden’s 2006 crown makes him the most recent American champion, with Ben Spies’ 2011 Dutch TT win the last MotoGP victory for a US rider. Spies’ second in that year’s finale was the last American podium. “The diehard enthusiast is still going to come, but if we had two or three kids in Moto3 or [...]

Rossi could keep racing until he’s 40

April 7th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi believes he will be able to stay competitive in MotoGP until he is 40 years old if he can maintain his current level. The 36-year-old considered retirement last year after a run of disappointing seasons, but he ended up mounting a career resurgence. Rossi finished second to Marc Marquez in the 2014 championship and won this year’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix last month. He believes he is showing that mentality and approach is far more significant than physical age. “I feel good. I have good motivation. I like my job because it’s also my passion, like all the guys here,” Rossi said. “For me if you have a good life and do good training you can ride at the top until you are 40 or so. It’s not [...]

Honda opted against Stoner MotoGP return

April 5th, 2015

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Honda and Casey Stoner discussed the two-time MotoGP champion replacing the injured Dani Pedrosa, but the downside of a short-term comeback outweighed the positives. Stoner won titles in 2007 with Ducati and 2011 with Honda before retiring from MotoGP at the end of 2012, aged 27. While he hasn’t raced on two-wheels since, the Australian has remained one of the Japanese manufacturer’s test riders and will contest July’s Suzuka 8 Hours. Pedrosa is set to miss at least the next two races after undergoing arm surgery in Madrid on Friday, with HRC tester and 2009 250cc champion Hiroshi Aoyama to stand in. Stoner tweeted on Friday that “it would have been an honour” to replace Pedrosa, but team manager Livio Suppo told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport it was never [...]

Pedrosa undergoes ‘aggressive’ surgery

April 3rd, 2015

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Honda MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa has undergone a “complicated and aggressive” operation involving removing the muscle casing in his right forearm to try to cure persistent arm pump problems. Pedrosa admitted after struggling to fifth in last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix that the condition was beginning to put his career in jeopardy. He had been advised against further surgery after his most recent operation in May last year, but decided to go ahead with a new operation led by Dr Angel Villamor of iQtra Medicina Avanzada in Madrid on Friday. The fascia around the muscle in Pedrosa’s arm was completely removed during the two-hour surgery. “The surgery was complicated and aggressive using a microsurgery technique and microscopic lens,” Dr Villamor explained. “It lasted two hours, and was done under a [...]