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Honda expecting ‘another challenging weekend’ at Canadian GP

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Honda Formula 1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa is braced for “another challenging weekend” in Canada as the power-hungry Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal threatens to leave McLaren struggling for pace once again.

McLaren-Honda has failed to score any points through the opening six races of the 2017 season, largely thanks to problems with the power unit supplied by the Japanese manufacturer which lacks both performance and reliability.

McLaren saw its hopes of points in Monaco two weeks ago fade when both Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne retired in the final 20 laps, leaving it at the foot of the constructors’ championship with almost a third of the season complete.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race in Montreal, Hasegawa was pleased to welcome back Fernando Alonso, who missed Monaco to enter the Indianapolis 500, but did not dress up Honda’s expectations for the Canadian Grand Prix.

“The Canadian Grand Prix is always a special race for us,” Hasegawa said. “It is one of the most vibrant and popular on the Formula 1 calendar, and has a wonderful atmosphere.

“The fans really embrace the grand prix each year. We also have the warm support of our colleagues from Honda Canada.

“After Jenson’s one-off appearance in Monaco, we will have Fernando back behind the wheel fresh from his great Indy 500 challenge. His bid to win in his rookie year came to a disappointing end, but once again Fernando showed what an incredible talent he is.

“He was a contender for victory throughout the legendary race and drove like a seasoned oval racer. I am looking forward to seeing him after his great adventure.

“Despite the beautiful nature of the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, this power-hungry, demanding track will not play to our strengths.

“With its power-oriented nature, stop and start corners, abrasive surface and long straights, it will no doubt be another challenging race weekend for us.

“However, we will keep pushing forward, no matter how tough the challenge ahead.”

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.”