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Aug 5, 2001

Contrary To What Our Japanese Reporter Told Us, Hooters Suzuki's Ciccotto Didn't Crash At Suzuka

We originally posted August 4 that Hooters Suzuki's Mike Cicotto crashed Friday at Suzuka and broke a bone in his right wrist.<BR><BR>This was based on information given to us by our Japanese reporter for the race, but it was incorrect. Ciccotto already had a broken bone in his wrist when he arrived at Suzuka, and, after landing in Los Angeles on Sunday, described what happened there as follows: <BR><BR>"I went to Suzuka just to put in an appearance for my team, since the organizers had promoted Hooters being there. I wasn't really even planning on riding much, as my wrist has been hurting for over a month now and I wanted to take care of it before my procedure with Doc Kieffer. I went out for two practice sesssions on Thursday. For the first session, I rode one bike and it wasn't set up very well, but I got some laps in. For the second session, I rode the second bike which was set up a little better, and did a few more laps. But qualifying was coming up next and I decided that I shouldn't compete - because of my wrist my qualifying times would hurt the team, since they average the times for qualifying. Plus, I didn't want to risk hurting the wrist more. But I had no getoffs or crashes at all - I was completely careful the whole time. The wrist actually feels pretty good right now, it doesn't ache like it used to and it has good mobility. But when it comes to really pushing it to the edge, then it hurts because the navicular bone is fractured. So Kieffer will put a screw in there tomorrow or Tuesday.<BR><BR>"But anyway, I'm glad I went to Suzuka. It was a good experience; the track was really neat, the people polite, and the fans very enthusiastic about the racing. The atmosphere was great - lots of energy before the race. And Japan is so unique, everything is so perfect there. <BR><BR>"So tomorrow morning I catch a 6:00 a.m. flight that eventually gets me into Doc Kieffer's. He'll put a screw in my wrist to tighten up the navicular bone, and I'll be good to go in 10 to 14 days. Just in time for Pikes. I'm be ready to do everything I can to win the last 4 Pro Thunder rounds and win the Championship." <BR><BR>With Ciccotto out, the team competed with Michael Barnes and Kyoichi Kosaka, 25, a Japanese National Championship competitor.<BR><BR>Hooters Suzuki started 30th overall (13th in the SuperProduction class) on the starting grid with a GSX-R1000. Barnes turned a best time of 2:14.025 while Kosaka's best time was a 2:14.528.<BR><BR>The team ran 19th overall after two hours but fell back to 45th after Barnes crashed, and eventually finished 39th.