Colin Edwards ruled out of Valencia race

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Colin Edwards will miss the final race of the 2011 MotoGP world championship in Valencia next weekend while he recovers from injuries sustained in a tragic accident in Sepang that left popular Italian Marco Simoncelli fatally injured.

The 37-year-old Texan dislocated his shoulder on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix when he fell after colliding with Simoncelli, who had lost control of his Honda RC212V machine at Turn 11.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider was assessed by orthopedic specialist Dr Henry Small at the University General Hospital in Houston on Wednesday and it was confirmed he has multiple small fractures to the top of his left humerus bone, which connects the shoulder to the elbow.

There is also damage to the cartilage around the tip of the humerus bone, which will require surgery next Tuesday. With a four-week recovery period, Edwards will not be able to take part in the Valencia race on November 6, which was due to be his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.

Edwards also suffered severe bruising and swelling to both wrists and right heel in the accident, but additional checks at the University General Hospital showed no fractures.

Edwards said he had watched Simoncelli’s funeral on the internet yesterday (Thursday) at his home with wife Alyssia.

He wanted to attend the service in Coriano, Italy, but was unable to travel from Texas because of his left arm and shoulder injuries.

Edwards said: “Firstly, I want to thank everybody for all their messages of support since Sunday. The support and love has been overwhelming and it has been a great comfort to me. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Marco and I will miss him a lot, as will the entire MotoGP family.

"I watched Marco’s funeral yesterday and I really wish I could have been there. I wanted to go but unfortunately my injuries meant I was unable to travel. It was a great service and a fitting celebration of his life.

"I also wanted to be in Valencia next week to give my support to MotoGP, but it is not going to be possible because of the surgery I need on my left shoulder.

"The top of my left humerus bone has got multiple small fractures but the cartilage that is around the top of the bone has been pulled off. The surgery will anchor the cartilage back to the bone but there is no nerve damage, so I should be 100 per cent in about four weeks.”

The Tech 3 team is currently seeking a replacement for Edwards in Valencia to join British rider Cal Crutchlow.

American superbike champion Josh Hayes is favourite to ride the YZR-M1 machine in place of Edwards. The 36-year-old was due in Valencia anyway because he was due to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine the day after Sunday’s race.

He won the American superbike title for the second season in succession earlier this year and the ride was a reward from Yamaha US and Monster.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt