In December, newly signed Monster Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow underwent surgery to repair a shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old Crutchlow then began intense rehabilitation program, which included a two-week cycling trip in California.
The Brit returned home this week from California, and discussed cycling, his recovery and the upcoming MotoGP season, which begins Feb. 1-3 with the first official test of 2011.
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha MotoGP) says: "It went really well. I had 12 days of real cycling and did 692 miles (just over 1,100km). It’s a good base of fitness to start the season and cycling is a passion of mine, so to get out there in nice weather was great. It also helped my recovery with my shoulder, and I’m now looking forward to going to Malaysia."
Crutchlow cycled with fellow countryman Bradley Smith, who moves from the 125cc Class to Moto2 with Tech 3.
Cal Crutchlow says: "It was great to meet up with a Tech 3 team-mate of mine and do some training together. We were doing rides of between two and five hours a day, so there was a lot of time for talking! It was great for me because of his experience around the circuits and he knows them a lot better than I do.
"But at the same time it’s completely different on a MotoGP bike to a 125cc, which he has been riding. The good thing for him is that I can give him some good advice on 600cc bikes from when I won the World Supersport title, so we have a mutual respect. Bradley is a good guy and someone with a good future in MotoGP, I’m sure."
Crutchlow, the new teammate of Colin Edwards, took the vacant seat of Ben Spies on the satellite Yamaha MotoGP team as the American filled the vacancy left by Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha Team.
The 2009 World Supersport Champ underwent surgery in Manchester, which repaired the reverse bankart on the back of his shoulder, an injury that occurred at the end of 2009 while competing in World Supersport.
This same injury recently plagued nine-time World Champion Rossi (who also underwent successful shoulder surgery during the winter MotoGP break).
Cal Crutchlow says: "The shoulder is sore but that’s because I’ve been working it hard. The Doctor put it into perspective by saying a normal person would be in a sling for 8-12 weeks and I took it off after three weeks, so we have pushed the boundaries – that’s what motorcycle racers do.
"(The doctor) explained that going to Sepang in two weeks is really going to test it, but he said he’s confident that at the start of the season it should be fit. It won’t be 100 percent but it’ll hopefully be better than it was before. That’s good news for me."
Crutchlow says he will continue training, but won’t get on any type of motorcycle until the Sepang MotoGP tests.
Cal Crutchlow says: "I have motocross and enduro bikes at home but I don’t want to do any damage or wreck the recovery work that’s been done, or even go to Sepang with any doubt in my mind that it’s not good. So I’d rather just leave it and go to Sepang.
"At the end of the day I can do press ups and general things with it, it is sore and it aches after, but I only had the operation six weeks ago."
"We’ll use this first MotoGP test really to get my head back round being on a MotoGP bike which is completely different, and to learning the circuit. It’s been a couple of months off a motorcycle for me so to get back on and work out how everything works again will be a key aim.
"For the second Test we’ll then have a bit more of a goal for testing a lot more things and being more optimistic, and by then I’ll have had another three weeks and hopefully it (the shoulder) will be better."