Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig is relishing the return of Jorge Lorenzo following his lengthy injury absence but doesn’t expect him to be completely fighting fit from the start.

Lorenzo has been out of action since fracturing vertebrae in his back during practice at the Dutch MotoGP round at Assen in June and will return at the British round next weekend.

Puig is eager to welcome back Lorenzo after two months out but anticipates the lengthy time away means he’ll require time to get back up to speed, both mentally and physically, for Repsol Honda.

“We are looking forward to seeing Jorge Lorenzo in Silverstone, we expect and we hope he is ok from a physical point of view after his injury,” Puig said. “We understand that he won’t be at his 100 percent.

“After a long injury like his and not riding the bike for two months, it is difficult to find the speed. We want him to come back with motivation to ride again, to be part of the team, to give us feedback and move forward.”

Lorenzo has been at the centre of the latest MotoGP rider move speculation after reports emerged during the Austrian round linking him to Pramac Ducati for 2020 despite having a two-year deal with the factory Honda squad.

Puig batted away the rumours at the Red Bull Ring and insists Lorenzo will see out his contract.

“I don’t think about it because I only know what we know, and we know that we have a contract with him for two years, that ends in 2020,” Puig said last weekend.

“So I really don’t know what the paddock rumours are or what people are saying, but I can only stick to our plan and the Honda plan which is to have him for this year and next year.”

Puig is also intrigued to see how the resurfaced Silverstone track reacts following the washout and cancellation of all races at the British round last year.

Silverstone has completed an entire resurfacing after faults were found with the original job completed before last year’s race with rain unable to drain off the track surface.

Following an FIM inspection last month the track has been given the green light ahead of the British MotoGP and received positive feedback in all conditions.

“Last year Silverstone was a difficult day on Sunday because of the conditions but I have heard they have completely resurfaced the circuit and the initial feedback seems very positive,” he said. “So let’s go to England and see what happens.”

Lorenzo has missed the last four rounds with injury, with HRC test rider Stefan Bradl filling in as replacement at Sachsenring, Brno and the Red Bull Ring.