Interwetten Paddock rider Tom Luthi underwent successful surgery for a second time after his pre-season testing accident on February 14th in which he fractured bones in his right elbow and continues his recovery.
For the last official tests at Jerez (March 18th to 21st) and for the first two races of the season (Qatar and Austin), Spain’s Sergio Gadea has been announced as Luthi’s temporary replacement. The 28-year-old from Valencia celebrated three 125 cc victories in nine years of Grand Prix racing and also had a podium finish in his first Moto2 season in 2010. Towards the end of 2011, he suffered a bad crash at the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi and was sidelined for several weeks. For 2012, he didn’t find enough financial support to continue Grand Prix racing on a professional level.
Luthi said on his release from the hospital. “I am glad that the operations, the anaesthetics, the pain killers and the hospital atmosphere are now a thing of the past and that I’m now able to look ahead into the future and fully concentrate on my recovery”.
Gadea said in the press release on his opportunity:
“To be able to return to the world championship with such a professional team and such a competitive bike is a fantastic opportunity for me. Whilst I tried to keep in good shape throughout last year riding all kinds of different bikes, I was waiting for a chance like that. Times are tough in Spain, which made it very difficult to find financial support for this sport. I am even more delighted about this opportunity and I will pull all stops to deliver the best-possible results.”
“The Suter MMX2 is the world championship-winning machine and speaks for itself, as do the victories and podium finishes that Tom and his team conquered with this bike. But miracles don’t exist in this sport and even though I have more than a year of experience in the Moto2 category, I can’t expect to be able to compete on the same high level straight after my comeback. But I am still confident, because I had good results at Jerez and Qatar in the past. During the Jerez tests, I will try to learn and understand as much as possible about the bike, then we will see where we are at in comparison to our rivals. I can’t wait to get on the bike!“
Team owner Daniel Epp hopes Gadea can do well during his stint , but looks forward to his long- time rider Luthi’s return:
“We are all very happy that Tom’s second operation was a success and that he continues his quick recovery. But it is still realistic to assume a rehabilitation period of two months, which is why we nominated Sergio Gadea as a replacement rider for the upcoming Jerez tests and, in all likelihood, for the first two races of the season as well. With three victories and a total of 18 podium finishes, Sergio proved that he is one of the top riders in Grand Prix racing. He deserves another chance. With Sergio in our team, Tom can go through his recovery program step by step and without time pressure. But of course, we and his bike are ready for him as soon as he is fit again!”.