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May 18, 2001

Lopez To Attempt Provisional Start In Formula Xtreme

Grant Lopez will attempt to make a provisional start in tomorrow's Formula Xtreme race despite suffering a dislocated and chipped right shoulder in a crash this morning.<BR><BR>Lopez was originally though to have broken his upper right arm in the crash. X-rays at the local medical center revealed the dislocation, complicated by a bone chip out of the shoulder socket.<BR><BR>Doctors repositioned the shoulder and a subsequent X-ray showed that the bone chip went back into place.<BR><BR>Lopez returned to the track and informed Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki that he will attempt to ride in tomorrow's race to salvage some points. AMA officials have said that Lopez is entitled to a provisional start under AMA rules.<BR><BR>Only 23 riders have entered the Formula Xtreme race at Road Atlanta, with points paid down 30 places.<BR><BR>If Lopez can make the start and finish at least half of the race (or eight of 16 scheduled laps), he will be eligible to receive points.<BR><BR>Lopez will decide (whether or not he will try to race), tomorrow morning.<BR><BR>After returning to the track from the hospital, Lopez admitted that he was anxious to run on the pace immediately because he had not been allowed to practice on Thursday. Lopez usually practices on Thursday and works up to speed, but AMA rules banned him from practice because he is currently in the top 10 in 600cc Supersport points. As a result, Lopez said, he was "in a bit of a hurry" and simply lost the front over ripples in turn 12. Lopez attempted to compensate by applying throttle but then slid the rear, and finally lost the front again and crashed.