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May 17, 2002

Updated Yet Again: Gobert Leads Friday Superbike Qualifying At Road Atlanta, Then Slides Into And Under The Soft Barriers, Which Were Not Tied Down Correctly

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Anthony Gobert was at the top of the time charts about 3/4 of the way through the Friday Superbike qualifying session at Road Atlanta when he lost the front wheel and crashed in turn three, sliding into sections of Alpina inflatable soft barriers. In videotape of the incident, Gobert can be seen sliding into two joined sections of the inflatable barriers, which pulled apart at the bottom as one section came up off the ground. According to Yamaha's Tom Halberson, Gobert later said that he tried to rotate his body to avoid going into the Alpina Air Module feet first, but could not get his right leg turned out of the way. His foot and leg hit haybales behind the Air Module. The session was then red-flagged.<BR><BR>The air barriers apparently were installed without the bottom securing ropes specified for installation by the manufacturer. AMA Pro Racing staffers and track workers secured the air modules in the section of racetrack where Gobert hit, which are owned by AMA Pro Racing. An Alpina crew installed Air Modules owned and rented by Alpina to the race promoters, and those Air Modules were seen to be tied down with bottom securing ropes.<BR><BR>Gobert was initially taken to the infield care center and was subsequently transported to a local hospital for X-rays of his lower right leg and ankle. According to an update issued by Road Atlanta, Gobert "was transported to Northeast Georgie Regional Medical Center in Gainesville for X-rays for a 'likely' fracture of his right tibia."<BR><BR>The fastest times when the red flag flew were as follows:<BR><BR>1. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha, 1:23.674<BR>2. Nicky Hayden, Honda, 1:24.067<BR>3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda, 1:24.408<BR>4. Aaron Yates, Suzuki, 1:24.465<BR>5. Jamie Hacking, Suzuki, 1:24.684<BR>6. Mat Mladin, Suzuki, 1:24.976<BR>7. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki, 1:25.349<BR>8. Doug Chandler, Ducati, 1:25.495<BR>9. Pascal Picotte, Ducati, 1:26.952<BR>10. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki, 1:27.206<BR>11. Brian Parriott, Suzuki, 1:27.329<BR>12. Lee Acree, Suzuki, 1:27.431<BR>13. Jimmy Moore, Suzuki, 1:27.552<BR>14. Adam Fergusson, Suzuki, 1:27.576<BR>15. Rich Conicelli, Suzuki, 1:28.113<BR>16. Brian Livengood, Suzuki, 1:28.737<BR>17. Ty Howard, Suzuki, 1:29.071<BR>18. Andy Deatherage, Suzuki, 1:29.166<BR>19. Michael Barnes, Suzuki, 1:29.245<BR>20. Brian Gibbs, Suzuki, 1:29.282<BR>21. Scott Harwell, Suzuki, 1:29.381<BR>22. Mark Crozier, Suzuki, 1:29.804<BR>23. Christopher Rankin of Texas, Suzuki, 1:29.872<BR>24. Scott Carpenter, Suzuki, 1:30.917<BR>25. Larry Pegram, Suzuki, 1:30.144<BR>26. Doug Duane, Suzuki, 1:30.163<BR>27. Goeff May, Suzuki, 1:30.345<BR>28. John Dugan, Suzuki, 1:30.363<BR>29. Chris Rankin of Maryland, Suzuki, 1:30.367<BR>30. Marco Martinez, Suzuki, 1:30.562<BR><BR>Other riders transported from the track to Northeast Georgia Regional Medical Center on Friday include Cory West, who suffered a possible concussion in a crash during 250cc Grand Prix practice, as well as Daniel Smallwood who suffered a broken collarbone and possible shoulder injury after crashing in Formula Xtreme practice.