Roberto Rolfo has revealed he is putting off an operation on a shoulder injury in order to compete in this year's World Superbike Championship.
The Italian switches from Althea Honda to Stiggy Racing in 2009, but comes to the team with an ailment that has afflicted him since a heavy crash at the Monza round of the 2008 season.
Although he has been advised to undergo surgery to correct the injury, the subsequent rehabilitation and physiotherapy could see him miss a large proportion of the new season. As such, Rolfo has decided to put it on hold in order to take part in this weekend's test at Portimao, as well as the start the season.
“For the moment, I have decided not to have an operation because I want to continue physiotherapy and improve the stability of my shoulder. Above all, I don't want to lose even a day on track. It will be long and hard work, but I'm in good muscular condition, thanks to constant physio during the last season.
“At Portimao, I will wear a special support which will stabilise the shoulder when I am on the bike. I'm sure my strong motivation and desire to ride will overcome any aggravation the shoulder gives me! I am determined to do my best, whatever my condition!”
Although going against doctors orders, Rolfo is due to receive considerable support from the Clinica Mobile that is present at all WSBK rounds.
“The SBK Clinica Mobile will help Roby in the first difficult Portimao tests by the use of our specialised equipment together with normal anti-inflammatories and painkillers,” said Doctor Massimo Corbascio. “After Portugal we will prepare a program of physio to try and help him avoid surgery - as per his wishes.”
Team manager Johan Stigefelt was also satisfied with Rolfo's decision to soldier on, although he will use this test as an opportunity to witness how much aggravation the injury is giving him.
“I'm happy Roby has decided to participate in the test at Portimao, because it's important for him as well as for the team. It's especially important because, as the season's start is just around the corner, we need to know where we stand regarding Roby's physical condition and also the new updates on his bike.
“Hopefully he will be able to complete the 3-day test without too much pain. Afterwards we will see how he feels and how much progress he has made with the bike.”