Serco Yamaha ace anticipating riding return next month.
Nathan Crawford believes there are a number of benefits to come out of the downtime he’s experiencing due to a leg injury sustained last year, as he’s still yet to make a return to riding.
Crawford, who signed on with Serco Yamaha for 2019, split the top of his tibia at Coolum’s Australian supercross round in 2018 while acting as a replacement for Dean Ferris at CDR Yamaha Monster Energy, which also marked his racing return after a shoulder injury sidelined him from Wonthaggi’s Pirelli MX Nationals in May.
The popular Queenslander is expecting clearance to ride within the next four weeks, and despite that leaving him just a month to prepare for Appin’s MX National opener on 17 March, he’s adamant the time away from the bike will only impact positively.
“I’ve obviously not got back on the bike yet, but I’ve been doing heaps of training so my off the bike fitness is up to date by the time I start riding,” Crawford explained to MotoOnline.com.au. “I’m flat-out into training off the bike, and I think I’m only three or four weeks off from riding – we’re not too far away.
“It’s a reasonable amount of time before round one – I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent, but I don’t think I’ll be too far from it. For the amount of time I’ve had to recover on this injury, I’m well on my way. The doctor’s happy, and I’m as happy as I can be. It’s hard watching everyone while I’m still not riding.
“It’s alright though, it’s kind of working out in my favour as I’ll be fresh – everyone’s having a really big pre-season – which is good for them – but at the same time I’ll be fresh, keen and motivated. There are plenty of benefits to my situation.”
Yamaha introduced a heavily revised YZ250F for 2019, which Crawford was able to briefly sample prior suffering his injury in October, which allowed the talented MX2 contender to gain insight on the updated model he’ll campaign this season.
“I did a little riding on the new YZ250F right before I broke my leg, so I’ve ridden the bike and it’s good,” he continued. “My suspension guy, Kenny from Factory Spec, he’s already got my suspension ready for when I’m back on the bike. I’m pretty confident it will be close [to where it needs to be], it will just be fine tuning everything before round one.”
Tipped as a title favourite, Crawford will be joined by newcomer Aaron Tanti at the Queensland-based Serco Yamaha outfit.