De Puniet Hoping To Make Return At Brno

Valentino Rossi's record recovery from injury, taking just 41 days to return to racing after breaking his tibia and fibula at Mugello, appears to have brought out the competitive spirit in Randy de Puniet. The Frenchman suffered a similar injury to Rossi's, fracturing his tibia and fibula in a race crash involving Mika Kallio at the Sachsenring, ironically, the very race that Rossi made his return at. Now, De Puniet is targeting a return just 26 days after his accident, two full weeks earlier.

De Puniet was luckier than Rossi, as his fractures were not compound and that the bones did not puncture the skin. But a return to active service so shortly after the injury is almost unheard of, and hard to believe it is medically possible. De Puniet had a large titanium pin inserted into his tibia, to fix the bone, and has since been undergoing treatment using the same hyperbaric chamber therapy that Rossi used to help speed his recovery. In addition to the hyperbaric chamber, De Puniet also used ultrasound to help the bones knit together better. As the LCR Honda rider is already walking without crutches, and is back in the gym working on his fitness program, De Puniet believes he will be fit enough to race at Brno a week on Sunday.

De Puniet will have to obtain clearance from the medical staff at Brno on Thursday before he will be allowed to ride, though. Roger Lee Hayden will be on hand at the Czech circuit, should De Puniet's request be turned down, but with a fracture like De Puniet's, where the skin was not punctured, he should be passed fit to ride.

The LCR Honda team have a full statement and more details on De Puniet's condition on their website.

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I know the fire burns brightly in his belly, but what is the rush? He is not fighting for the championship or even the top 5. His ranking at the end of the season, even with a streak of luck, is probably not going to vault him above 8th, where he currently sits. (This is especially so seeing Rossi back in near-top form and therefore keeping his spot on the leaderboard). If MotoGP has a top 10 structure like NASCAR then I can understand why he would push, but I doubt it. (Especially with such a small grid).

I also do not think his taking some more time to heal is going to hurt his market value. He has shown excellent form this year and I think most will agree he is worth his salary and should continue in MotoGP.

So what is the rush?

I have had a great deal of respect for RdP since he has been in the top class. I think he could have easily been sent packing in years past and I am glad he wasn't because he is a top talent. RdP Please don't go down anymore this season!

I hope that he gets the ride he is looking for when the season is over.

One season, i think it was the first year with LCR and french tires(?), RDP crashed almost 40 times! That's insane.

He's really come into his own this year. In fact he's my favorite rider to watch now that Casey Stoner seems to be riding a bus around the track. I can understand him wanting to keep his iron hot. I just hope his bravery and determination is not his undoing here.

Back so soon. Where will it end. Two weeks, one week, Riding before they break their leg?

Good luck to RdP I hope he has the strength to race. Bear in mind the cause of his crash may well have been the injury suffered crashing on Lorenzo's oil in practice.

True about the cause. I was pretty upset that the track workers didn't red flag the session until after Spies and Randy went down on the oil. How they didn't realize that Lorenzo dropped oil before people started crashing is beyond me. What were they watching? There was something that must have caused the flames and smoke. Especially the flames falling from the bike to the track. Seemed pretty obvious that whatever it was, it shouldn't have been on the track.

Careful Randy! I'm excited to see him back but (and I said this with Rossi) too soon! Take your time. I wish him all the best, I really want Spies to do well, but I'd love to see Randy as the top satellite rider he totally deserves it! The guy has made so much progress from his podium last year (albeit in the rain) to all his great results this season even beating his factory teamates several times. You can tell how bad he wants it and its always a great pleasure to see him ride, but hopefully he's not setting himself up for a more lengthy set back.