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Sete Gibernau Forced To Miss Valencia - October 17th 2006

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    The small operation the Spanish rider underwent yesterday went according to plan but Gibernau will not be able to take part in the final race of the season.

    In last Sunday's crash at the Grande Premio de Portugal, Ducati Marlboro Team rider Sete Gibernau fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand and again damaged the collarbone he had already fractured in June.

    Gibernau left Portugal immediately after the race to go to Madrid's San José hospital, where he underwent a new kind of medical treatment, which has been in use over the last two months in Spain, and which has now for the first time ever been applied to a professional sportsman. The treatment consists of the extraction of stem cells from the patient and their subsequent injection into the affected areas. In this case the cells were applied to the hand and the collarbone.

    The operation, which lasted less than an hour, was carried out by Dr. Ángel Villamor. "The results obtained with this technique on patients with weakened bones and repeated fractures have so far been very satisfactory. For this reason we decided to apply it to Sete Gibernau: the fact that one of the two plates inserted in his collarbone had given way gave rise to fears that the bone was not strong enough. The operation, which avoids the immobilization of the traumatized limb, went well. Hopefully within a month or so we can confirm the complete efficiency of the treatment applied to Sete and he can return to his normal sporting activity"

    The rider, who left hospital today, now requires a period of rest which will rule him out of the final GP of the 2006 season. In the next few days Ducati Corse will decide whether or not to replace him and, if so, the name of the rider who will stand in for him at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

    In the meantime two days of tests for the Ducati MotoGP team have concluded at the Estoril circuit after being affected by changeable weather. Loris Capirossi and Vittoriano Guareschi managed to take advantage of every moment of available track time to continue development work on the Desmosedici GP7.