Eugene Laverty expects to step up his training regime over the Christmas period as the MotoGP rider battles back to full fitness after a crash during the final test of the season at Jerez in Spain in November.
Laverty, who married long-term partner Pippa Morson earlier this month at Dromoland Castle in Co Clare, suffered wrist, shoulder, neck and back injuries in the spill.
The 29-year-old, who will switch to Ducati machinery in 2016 in his second stint in motorcycling’s premier championship with the Aspar Racing team after riding the Open class Honda in his rookie year, is confident he will meet his target of a six-week recovery period in readiness for the first winter test at Sepang in Malaysia from February 1-3.
“Well the crash was three weeks ago now and I am making good progress with my recovery. I had surgery in Barcelona the day after the crash and for a week or so after there wasn’t much improvement because it took my body that time to recover from the big impact with the tyre wall,” Laverty said.
“Now the wrist feels okay – Dr. Mir did a fantastic job with that – and last Thursday he removed the cast and stitches, so I have been able to begin physiotherapy and it is improving very quickly. Dr. Mir was really happy with what he saw when he removed the cast and I am too, because it has only been three weeks and the progress has been incredible.
“He is a very good surgeon and we will stay in regular contact throughout my physiotherapy, although there should be no need for me to go back to Barcelona for any further treatment now,” added the Toomebridge man.
“The other smaller injuries like my right shoulder, neck and back are feeling much better but it all takes time. Now I am undergoing physiotherapy on my wrist and shoulder here in Monaco to try and increase the movement.
“I said after the crash I would need six weeks to recover, we are halfway through that and I am confident in a few more weeks I will be fit.”
Laverty was hopeful of recommencing his cardio work this week and feels he will be ready to increase his work rate over the Christmas holiday period.
“I am planning to start my cardio work again on the stationary bicycle; it is just my strength work that I will have to adapt and I can’t run just yet because the shoulder is too uncomfortable,” he explained.
“It’s important for me to be patient and not do too much too soon, but as a racer that is never easy. In the mornings my head is still a bit sore and the neck is stiff, which is normal after such a big crash, but usually after a month that begins to settle down so I think in a week or so I will be able to really step things up.”
Laverty finished 22nd in his maiden season in MotoGP, scoring nine championship points and securing a best result of 12th place at Catalunya in June.
Meanwhile, Leon Haslam will make a return to the MCE British Superbike Championship next year after being confirmed alongside James Ellison and Peter Hickman in a three-man line-up for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.
Haslam returns to the series after an absence of seven years, during which time he has competed in World Superbikes.
Twice a runner-up in BSB, Haslam - a 16-time race winner - said: "It will be my first time competing in the Showdown format so I’m looking forward to that, but our goal from the start of the year is to come back and be challenging at the front from the start.”