“I'm really proud”
Toni Elias won his own personal battle at Brno as he returned to track just two months after his crash at Assen, recovering in record time from a broken femur.
The Spaniard started the race from the fifth row of the grid and battled all the way
to the end despite intense pain in his leg, fighting it out with West, Guintoli, Checa and Barros to take an incredible eleventh place finish.
Marco Melandri was forced to watch the race from the pit garage after suffering an exposed discal hernia between the C5 and C6 vertebrae during free practice.
TONI ELIAS (11th in the race, 13th in the championship on 54 points):
"I'm really proud and satisfied to have finished the race. Considering my physical condition, eleventh place is not bad. Brno features a lot of direction changes and it's very demanding on the body so I struggled a lot with the pain in my leg. Now we have two more weeks of hard work ahead to try and recover as well as possible and be ready for Misano, my team's home race. In fact, the headquarters are just a few kilometres away in San Clemente."
MARCO MELANDRI (6th in the championship on 113 points):
"It was frustrating having to watch the race from the pit wall, especially having worked really hard over the summer to recover from the broken ankle.
My neck has been in some pain ever since Laguna Seca but I never thought it would stop me from racing here at Brno. Unfortunately on Friday morning I had a hernia between the C5 and C6 vertebrae which put pressure on the nerve and I lost all strength in my left arm and hand. Now my only thought is to get fit as soon as possible and make sure I am ready to race again at Misano".