Former world champion Casey Stoner is hopeful an arm pump issue that hindered his challenge at Silverstone and Assen will not strike again during this weekend’s Catalunya clash.
The Australian finished third in Assen last weekend but never got close to attacking Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa as he encountered an arm pump problem that had first surfaced at Silverstone.
And speaking on the eve of this weekend’s seventh round at the Catalunya track on the outskirts of Barcelona, Stoner said:
“We have to wait till we get on the bike but we’ve tried everything. We’ve only had three or four days to really work on it. I had to recover on Sunday and then every day since we’ve done as much as we can with it, but it’s not something that’s easy to overcome like that.
"But I feel the arm has been responding to what we’ve been doing, so we’re going to have to wait and see tomorrow afternoon how it is. And we should get some indications of what it’s like, whether we have to change handlebar position.”
Stoner declined to comment on the specific treatment he’d been undergoing to help alleviate the arm pump issue as he tried to break his victory duck in 2010 this weekend.
“I’m not really going to talk about it at the moment because I don’t know if it works or not. I have three days to try and help solve the issue or at least reduce it. Normally it’s got to take a week or two before you really feel a difference. So for whatever we’ve done in these last few days we’re going to see if it’s helped the situation.
"Hopefully I’m going to go down and have a look at my handlebar. We haven’t changed it in years, but we’ll see if we can do something ergonomically to try and help that. And we’re just going to have to see as the weekend goes on if what we’ve done is helping or not. I’d say that Silverstone was harder than most circuits and that’s where the issue started. And to be honest that’s why we still had it last weekend, because once you get the muscles inside inflamed they’re actually very difficult to massage it out again.
"It’s basically with the bike moving around so much, I’m trying to hold on to it as tight as I can. Normally I’m quite relaxed on the bike, but I wasn’t so comfortable at Silverstone, so I think I was just gripping everything a little too tight over the weekend. By the time race came around we got the bike set up well enough that I could relax, but by that time my arms were already at the stage they were going to pump. So we’re just going to have to wait for this weekend and hopefully it’s improved here.”