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Pivato making progress in hospital

Patrick PivatoFord team principal Malcolm Wilson says Francois Duval's injured co-driver Patrick Pivato is making good progress in hospital in Japan.

The Frenchman sustained multiple fractures and internal injuries when Stobart Ford driver Duval, who was running second at the time, crashed into a barrier during SS6 of the Japanese event on Friday afternoon.

Pivato's side of the car took the full force of the high-speed impact, and he was airlifted to Higashi Tokushukai hospital in Sapporo.

During surgery to attend to his fractured pelvis and tibia, internal bleeding was discovered, necessitating a second operation. He was subsequently placed in a medically induced coma and listed in a critical but stable condition.

After the rally finish yesterday, Wilson said that the latest information from the hospital was encouraging.

"I'm really pleased to report he had a much better night last night," the team boss said.

"He's still critical and in an induced coma. They'll do an operation tomorrow (Monday) to remove the packs from his stomach.

"On Thursday they'll do a fixation operation on the leg and pelvis."

Wilson added that the team had feared the worst after Pivato's crash, so were very relieved that his recovery had begun well.

"When you think back to the position we were in on Friday night, it's a great relief to everybody that he's making the progress he's making," said Wilson. "He's not out of the woods yet, but it's great to see the progress he's making."

Wilson also indicated that Pivato would have to remain in Japan for around a month before he could return home.

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