Villopoto has not retired say Kawasaki

Kawasaki GP boss Francois Lemariey has said his injured No1 rider Ryan Villopoto has not retired but wants to come back and race again this season. And he has also claimed the American is top of Kawasaki's shopping list for MXGP riders for 2016 - and not ruling out Clement Desalle, Jordi Tixier, Valentin Guillod and Shaun Simpson.

"They are are available and on the list. And maybe Ryan can be on the list of riders we can choose from for 2016," he said in an interview with Paul Malin in Germany today.

Lemariey also talked about Villopoto's season that started poorly in Qatar, before ending with a broken tailbone in Italy just four rounds later.

He said: "Ryan did well in the first races. Qatar was like a pre-season race for us as we were a bit late, and he found out what was needed to race in Europe. We gave him some advice. Some advice he took, other he followed his own feelings. We were not stressed about the results as he was getting better and better.

"He hadn't raced for 10 months so had to get back into his rhythm. We saw him getting faster and in Thailand he was good. Physically and technically with the bike we took some steps in the first races. We all know Ryan has potential to win GPs and the championship. Step by step he started to understnad GPs and the team, and we were moving towards the goal.

"Unfortunately the crash at Arco came at the wrong moment. We were a bit afraid as we knew Ryan had never ridden a track like that. We put him on nice French tracks to try to prepare him and his performance was good until the crash. We were optimistic of a top three or four as he did fight hard.

"But the difficulty with the tailbone injury is that it's a bone and we know how long it can be to recover from a bone injury. There's nerve damage so it's very sensitive. Ryan is really disappointed to have had the injury. Next week he has another medical check."

Lemariey also denied that Villopoto has already retired. "I think now the position of Ryan is first he wants to see how he can recover from this injury. All the people I've spoken to about this injury are not optimistic. It can take a long time to return.

"He always sits down a lot on the bike due to his riding style. It's up to him when he returns as he wants to come back at 100%. It doesn't make sense to come back too early." See the full interview below.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Villopoto

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