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Dennis: Great years lie ahead of Alonso at McLaren

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McLaren CEO Ron Dennis is confident that great years lie ahead of two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso at the team despite enduring a difficult year in 2015.

Alonso returned to McLaren at the end of 2014 following a five-year stint with Ferrari, but toiled to his worst season since debuting with Minardi back in 2001 due to a myriad of problems with the new Honda power unit.

Alonso scored points in just two races – Britain and Hungary – and finished 17th in the drivers’ championship, prompting suggestions that he could take a sabbatical from F1 in 2016 unless McLaren improved its car for the new season.

In an interview quoted by the official F1 website, McLaren boss Dennis made clear that Alonso has a three year deal with the team that he will see out, and also said that the Spaniard knew that 2015 may be a year of turmoil upon joining the team.

“Fernando’s contract is of three years’ duration – no performance clauses, no nothing,” Dennis said. “He always knew that 2015 would be a learning year.

“He knows equally well that, together with Honda, we’ll make big improvements. So he joined us with open eyes.

“Together with the expertise and experience he’s cultivated over the past 15 years spent racing in Formula 1, he still bristles with energy and enthusiasm.

“He’s had better years than 2015, obviously, but he knows that great years lie ahead of him, with McLaren-Honda.”

Arguably, Alonso’s finest hour came in Brazil when he began sunbathing on a deck chair after being sidelined by an issue on his car in qualifying, sparking the #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe meme on Twitter.

Dennis, renowned for his corporate and official nature, admitted that Alonso’s actions did amuse him before praising the Spaniard.

“I chuckled to myself, to be honest,” Dennis admitted. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of humour.

“And Fernando is as hard-working as he is talented, be in no doubt of that. He’s matured enormously since he last drove for us, eight years ago, and he’s now one of the most complete drivers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.

“He has what I often refer to as the four e’s that all racing drivers should aspire to cultivate: energy, enthusiasm, expertise and experience.”

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has second surgery on fractured arm

MotoGP Marc Marquez second surgery
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images
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Defending MotoGP series champion Marc Marquez underwent a second surgery Monday after a titanium plate inserted in his fractured right arm sustained damage. The Repsol Honda Team said in a statement that it’ll be two days before the recovery period is determined.

Marquez was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener. He underwent an initial surgery July 21 in Barcelona, and doctors said there was no nerve damage.

The eight-time champion was cleared to race in the season’s second event Jerez. But Marquez decided to skip the July 26 race after experiencing discomfort while riding the No. 93 bike in a July 25 practice.

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He had planned to race in Sunday’s grand prix at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic in hopes of returning to defend his title. His status for Sunday apparently will be unclear until at least Wednesday.

In a statement Monday, the team said the titanium plate in Marquez’s right arm successfully was replaced after stress accumulation. Marquez will stay in the hospital for two days recovering.

Dr Xavier Mir, who performed the surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, said in the release that “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation.

“The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an overstress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”