Álvaro Bautista is hopeful that he will return to MotoGP racing this weekend, as Rizla Suzuki heads to Estoril, Portugal for the third round of the season. Bautista was sidelined at the season-opener in Qatar when he broke his left femur during a high-speed crash, and many pegged his return to MotoGP at a much later round, like Le Mans for instance.
To get back in the saddle, Bautista has been undergoing intensive physiotherapy, and will test his fitness on the Suzuki GSV-R during Friday’s first practice session. Should he not be ready to race at the Portuguese GP, Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will fill-in for Bautista, as John Hopkins has duties in British Superbike this weekend.
“I have been working very hard to be back in time for Estoril and I believe I will be able to take part in the race,” said Bautista. “I know it will be difficult, but I think the sooner I can get on the bike the more it will aid my total recovery and help my way to full fitness. I have travelled over 4,500km with many journeys to the hyperbaric chamber in Madrid to assist with my healing – I have been there so many times I could close my eyes and go without problems!”
“I have now finished the rehabilitation phase and started on the physical preparation; this involves a lot of swimming, cycling and other fitness programmes to build up the strength so I can ride again. It is going to be really tough, but I am totally focused on being on the GSV-R in Portugal, it’s all I can think about at the moment and that is my first goal. After that we’ll see what happens and take everything one step at a time.”
The Portuguese GP would be only 42 days since Bautista broke his leg, making the Spaniard’s return an amazing feat. Helping him in the recovery was the use of a hyperbaric chamber, which is becoming a commonplace treatment to help expedite the recovery of broken bones for GP riders since the chamber’s oxygen-saturated environment greatly facilitating the bone-mending process.
Source: Rizla Suzuki