German Alex Hofmann has undergone successful surgery to remove a plate and 15 screws from the left hand he seriously injured eight months ago at the Laguna Seca MotoGP in America.
Hofmann suffered grotesque hand injuries when French rider Sylvain Guintoli slammed into the side of him at the top of Laguna Seca’s famous Corkscrew in the first free practice session.
Hofmann needed a titanium plate and 15 screws inserted in the hand and at one point his career looked to be in jeopardy, but he is now test riding for Aprilia’s World Superbike project.
Munich-based Dr Hartl removed the metal work and Hofmann now faces a three-week recuperation time.
Alex Hofmann recovered from the hand injury but was sacked from the D’Antin Ducati squad immediately after the Estoril MotoGP in Portugal last season.
Hofmann retired from the race and inexplicably cited a lack of motivation, which saw Spaniard D’Antin Ducati take swift and decisive action by axing the Swiss-based rider.
“These have been pretty hard times for a racer like me,” said Hofmann after his surgery.
“First I had to sit out and watch the start of the new MotoGP season in front of my TV and then head straight to Munich for surgery.
“Overall I am happier now that the final bad memories of my screwed up last season are now lying next to me on the table. The doc told me to take it easy on my hand for the next three weeks and I will go through the usual intensive physiotherapy.
“Still, it is amazing how much medicine has advanced these days and I sure my hand will be like new in a few weeks.
“I was a little worried that day in Laguna Seca sitting in the gravel at Corkscrew”
Speaking about his 2008 plans, Hofmann added: “It looks like I won‘t be competing in any races this year, but my new job with Aprilia is an exciting new challenge for me.
“My bones have suffered a bit over the last few years and I guess a year of testing will do them some good!
“I will use the given time to take care of myself and refill my batteries so I am ready to fight back as soon as possible.
“I want to be back in world championship racing in 2009, whether in MotoGP or WSBK.
“My aim is to line up with a team that gives me the chance to perform out there and fight for the top spots, which I believe I am capable of.
“I have learned my lessons and believe it best to wait for the right opportunity.”
Alex Hofmann will resume testing for Aprilia in April in Italy.