Kenneth Gundersen is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from a cartilage operation however it is unlikely that the factory MX1 rider will make the gate for the first Grand Prix of the season at Zolder on April 2nd-3rd.
The Norwegian is currently at home but will visit a specialist in Sweden next Tuesday for a check-up on his knee; a full two weeks earlier than was originally planned. The 23 year old has been training hard and starting to ride cautiously over the last fortnight. If the initial examination is satisfactory then Gundersen will continue to work for another two weeks before returning to Sweden where he will remain for several days undergoing more comprehensive tests on the strength and durability of the knee. Once through this phase the super-fit rider should then have a green light to get up to full GP speed.
“We are happy for Kenneth because everything seems to be progressing nicely and he is feeling more confident,” stated Team Manager Toby Gustafson. “His leg muscles have returned to normal and he can fit his knee braces properly again. We hope that the next few weeks will continue in the same way. I am doubtful if he will be able to ride at Zolder but a return with the first three GPs is a certainty.”
Marc de Reuver has had surgery on the three ligaments broken in his right knee. The operation was performed last Wednesday and the 21 year old now embarks on the slow, lengthy road of recovery and rehab. The Dutchman is now certain to miss the majority of the 2005 FIM World Championships but is optimistically eying a return to action for round sixteen, his home GP at Lierop in September.
“Everything went OK last Wednesday,” he commented. “When I had the MRI scan the injury was worse then they had originally expected. The three ligaments were broken and I needed a total reconstruction. I am wearing a brace now and have to walk with crutches; it swells up easily. I have to be really careful in the first few weeks not to make any more damage. There is limited movement with the knee and I know that I will have lots of rehabilitation work, like cycling, ahead. It is going to be at least four months before I can go near a bike so it will be six months before I can think about GPs. I plan on being at Zolder to watch on the Saturday. I am already excited about making a comeback at Lierop and I want to be really strong.”
Info KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG – Photo copyright Ray Archer