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WSB - Crash injury proves fortunate for Martin - November 7th 2005

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    Steve Martin's involvement in the spectacular crash at the final race of the World Superbike season proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Foggy PETRONAS Racing rider.

    The Australian received a blow to the kidney in the five-bike shunt at Magny-Cours, France, and further examination of the organ at a Swiss hospital revealed the presence of a malignant tumour.

    Following an operation to remove the kidney last week, Steve has now been given the all-clear to target a comeback for the team's test session in Qatar in December.

    Steve said: "It was really lucky that I suffered the injury or the tumour might have gone undetected. I didn't feel too bad after the accident but then started to pass blood two days later. From the start the doctors felt there was something more to it than just the bleeding, but didn't say anything until an MRI scan confirmed their suspicions. It probably wouldn't have even bled had it not been for the tumour. When the kidney was removed the tumour was found to be malignant so I have been quite fortunate.

    "After the accident I wanted to kiss the rider who caused the accident with my fist, but now I want to kiss him with my lips!

    "I now have to undergo regular checks but the doctors are confident there will be no recurrence. In fact, it's a relief that the kidney wasn't lost as a direct result of the accident, as that might have played on my mind.

    "I feel great and I have been assured that the loss of the kidney will not affect my performance in any way. In fact I am keen to come back stronger than ever."

    Steve will miss the team's test in Valencia next week, when new team-mate Craig Jones will have his first ride on the PETRONAS FP1.