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.