Ruben Xaus, who broke his right leg in an accident on the opening lap of race one at Brno on July 26, is 'very, very hopeful' of an early return to World Superbike action in this weekend's Imola round.

The BMW rider, whose leg was damaged after digging into some deep gravel as he slid, admits he shouldn't technically be considering a return until the Portimao season finale on October 25.

However, the Spaniard - whose place alongside Troy Corser was taken by Richard Cooper last time out at the Nurburgring - believes his recovery is well ahead of schedule.

Related Articles

"My physiotheraphy and rehabilitation has gone very well and I think I will be able to race in Imola," declared Xaus. "Just before Imola, I will get on a bike and see how my leg behaves and how it feels when I get off the bike.

"In the normal scheme of things, I should really not be on a bike at all before Portimao, but everything has gone well so far and I am very eager to get on my bike and race.

"I saw the progress at Brno before I crashed and I am itching to get on my bike and see how much progress the team have made since then. There is no absolutely final decision about Imola yet, but I am very, very hopeful," he admitted.

"Hopefully, our normal team will be back in action at Imola and it will be a pleasure to have Ruben back and interesting to hear what he says about the bike since Brno," stated BMW Motorrad Motorsport director Berti Hauser. "Until he rides the bike, we do not know how strong he will be, but we know that his rehabilitation has gone very well and we know how keen he is to get on the bike again."

The last four races at Brno and Nurburgring have seen Corser score two top six finishes, including a BMW best of fifth in race one at Brno.

"I am looking forward to riding my bike again as I believe that we have made really good progress recently and I want to see how this progress continues in Imola," said the Australian. "Hopefully the weather will be better than the Nurburgring and we will get a good crowd and a good result."

This weekend's event marks the first WSBK race action at Imola since 2006, although Corser is unsure about some of the recent track modifications.

"Although we have tested at Imola this year - on the new layout - there is still lots to learn and do. For me the new approach to the front straight is not as good as before and the final chicane could cause problems," commented the double world champion.

Corser has never won at Imola, but Xaus has a strong record, winning race one in 2001 and scoring a memorable double victory, again as a Ducati rider, in 2003.