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Gibernau continues comeback preparations with Pyrenees training visit

Gibernau continues comeback preparations with Pyrenees training visit

Cross-country skiing is helping Sete Gibernau prepare for his 2009 comeback with new Ducati satellite outfit Grupo Francisco Hernando. recently visited experienced Spanish rider Sete Gibernau during a week-long stay at the Northern Spanish ski resort of Baqueira-Beret, as the man returning to the MotoGP World Championship in 2009 worked on his physical condition before the long, hard season ahead.

Having been away from Grand Prix competition since his 2007 retirement due to collarbone and hand injuries, but having tested the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 last year, the 36 year-old is fully aware that his fitness must be up to scratch before pre-season testing begins again in February.

`Well we are trying to start the engines again!´ Gibernau joked with regard to his mountain visit. `It has been two years since I stopped and I haven´t been training so hard. Of course I have been doing little things, cycling and so on, but I have not been riding motorcycles or doing specific training. Right now we are trying to get ready because it is going to be a long season.´

Recovering from surgery before Christmas to remove the metalwork which had been supporting his collarbone, building up the strength in his upper body was the main motivation for his trip to the Pyrenees to undertake some long cross-country skiing sessions. Gibernau commented, `I had a plate taken out of my collarbone two months ago so I am still doing rehab, working on that area. With the surgery and injuries I have had in the past, in particular on my shoulders, we have to focus on that area, the shoulders, the arms, doing sessions here of up to an hour and a half.´

Revealing his philosophy on the physical side of riding the former Honda and Suzuki man continued, `Fitness is crucial. If your physical condition drops down during a race or for some period during the year then for sure the results will not come. There are 18 races and you need to be ready. You have very demanding circuits and difficult conditions like in Sepang where it is very hot. You don´t have to get too fit, just have a good base so that you are not thinking about your condition, that is the best way.´

Regarding the stiff competition he faces on his return to the premier class, Gibernau pointed to the younger generation of riders who have come through to present a huge threat in MotoGP in recent seasons.

He noted, `The new generation of riders are very young, all of them, but they already have a lot of experience. Jorge Lorenzo is a World Champion with a lot of experience, Dani Pedrosa, also Casey (Stoner), Nicky (Hayden) and Andrea Dovizioso.´

`There are a whole bunch of them out there that are young but they have a lot of talent. I think also the fact that the bikes are 800cc and have electronics makes them quite close to a 250cc machine which makes it easier for them to adapt to the bike. That doesn´t mean they have it easy in general though, it is just different and the championship is very competitive so it is going to be a tough year for sure.´

MotoGP, 2008

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