Staying fit during the off-season is critical for any serious motorcycle racer. At the pinnacle of the sport, the off-season raises the stakes even higher as MotoGP riders are differentiated only by minute ticks on a very exacting scale of talent. Keeping one’s body and mind ready for battle is only part of the equation though, and we often see the top riders cross-training with a variety of sports, most notably off-road riding. Of course, with the added pressure to continue training hard in the off-season, there is bound to be accidents and injuries.
Nicky Hayden was caught out last week, as the American broke his shoulder and ribs during an indoor flat-tracking training accident. And this week, the off-season has claimed Monster Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso, as the Italian broke his collarbone while training on his dirt bike. Though the full extent of Dovi’s injuries are not yet known (Tech 3 was between press officers the last we heard), it is expected that the Yamaha rider will be fit enough for MotoGP’s second off-season test January 31st at Sepang.
Dovizioso announced the injury himself via Twitter, attaching a photo of his shoulder & arm immobilized still in his MX gear while in the hospital. As we know from Dovi’s old teammate Dani Pedrosa, it is possible for a MotoGP rider to return to riding after only a couple weeks of recuperation, if the broken collarbone is plated together. Not know the extent of Dovi’s injuries, it’s impossible to tell if the Italian will need such a procedure, and what his priorities are for getting back on the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 this off-season.
With so many rider contracts expiring at the end of the 2012 season, a strong performance this year will be critical to virtually everyone on the MotoGP grid. For Dovizioso, this season is especially important, as the once factory-Honda rider is keen to have his time in the satellite-Yamaha squad be only a stepping stone to his ascension to the factory Yamaha roster. With Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo in way of that move, Dovi will have to make some strong impressions this year, which means he will also have to stay healthy for the 2012 season.