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Gibernau returning to action after Qatar absence

Gibernau returning to action after Qatar absence

Veteran rider Sete Gibernau will resume his preseason preparations in Jerez this weekend having missed the night test in Qatar earlier this month due to a shoulder injury.

When Sete Gibernau suffered a small setback to his recovery from a winter shoulder operation during a training session in February it significantly affected his 2009 MotoGP comeback programme, as he aggravated an old shoulder ligament problem and missed the Official MotoGP Night Test in Qatar.

Having never ridden under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit that was a missed opportunity to prepare for the 2009 season opener on 12th April at the Arabian desert track, but Gibernau will be raring to go at this weekend’s Official MotoGP test in Jerez, with the Grupo Francisco Hernando Ducati satellite team.

motogp.com spoke to the experienced Spanish star before he left his native Barcelona for this weekend’s workout in southern Spain and he explained that he had recently paid a visit to Ducati’s headquarters in Italy, where the factory updated him on how the Desmosedici GP9 had developed in recent months. Gibernau, in return, told Ducati management how his shoulder was recovering and what could be expected of him in Jerez due to his current physical limitations.

“I left Italy feeling happy and relaxed, with my mind at ease having agreed with everyone that we will just have to see how things go in Jerez according to how much my shoulder can take,” Gibernau said. “The aim is just to get back in contact with the bike and ride, as we don’t think I can do too many laps in Jerez.”

The 36 year-old continued, “The whole shoulder was affected but it has healed quite well. I am not at 100% yet but I’m getting better. Having had to rest completely means the muscle around the area has weakened so we can’t go to Jerez and force things too much. I’ll do some laps on the first day and see if I can do a bit more on the second day, but the main thing is to make sure I don’t make anything worse before Qatar.”

The former World Championship runner-up admitted that the left shoulder injury has affected his plans for his Grand Prix return, stating, “Obviously this has set me back quite a bit. In the first couple of races the objectives will be fairly different to what they would have been, but it is important for us to take a step forward in Jerez and the same in Qatar at round one. I’ll have to train as much as I can and if I can’t finish the first race I’ll have to adapt.”

“Clearly, the priority has to be gradually rehabilitating the shoulder and getting it back to full strength as soon as possible, but before getting back to a good level we just need to make sure it doesn’t get worse,” Gibernau added.

Although his early season expectations have been lessened, Gibernau nonetheless remains positive about the project he is undertaking with Pablo and Gelete Nieto.

The ex-Ducati factory rider noted, “The fact that a new team, which has been created from nothing and which I am part of, is going to the Official Test at Jerez and will be at the first race of the year is something very special. We wanted to achieve this and we are getting there. It is not easy to create a MotoGP team from scratch and that is what we are in the process of doing. Just competing in that first race at Qatar will mean we have taken a highly successful first step. It has been a big job for everyone and Pablo and Gelete have been working extremely hard.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, Sete Gibernau, Grupo Francisco Hernando

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