It takes a lot of courage to sit out the opening of the Supermoto season when you are the reigning world champ but that is what Red Bull KTM's top rider Bernd Hiemer had to do when he broke his left arm and right wrist in a pre-season training session.
Now plaster casted and with his left arm completely immobilized, Bernd has no alternative than to concentrate on the healing process, exercise a whole lot of patience and follow his doctor's orders. "This is a pretty lousy situation for any rider and it's very disappointing after we had prepared so well in the pre-season. Now there's nothing more I can do except listen to my doctor and look forward to riding again as soon as possible," Bernd told KTM Racing News by telephone from his home in Germany.
The off season had been very productive and Bernd was looking forward to defending his title.
He had enjoyed being in Spain with the other KTM offroad factory riders at Stefan Everts MX training facility during the winter and had sharpened up his speed tactics in his offroad training with Didi Larcher. Everything pointed to a perfect start to the season but then came the day of reckoning. On March 11 he crashed coming out of a section of whoops while testing at Ottobici in Italy. The next stop was a Milan clinic and the advice that he immediately return to Germany for more treatment.
What the doctors discovered is graphically displayed on Bernd's home page (www.berndhiemer.de). This was a serious injury and the top German specialist Dr. Prommersberger told him it would be three months before he could resume his athletic career. Now, six weeks down the line, Bernd has hopes that if everything goes according to plan he may be back on his KTM Supermoto by the end of May. "I have some small hopes that this might happen," he admitted. "The more realistic approach might be the middle of June."
Bernd is taking his healing process step by step - physiotherapy, massage, endurance training on a high-tech exercise bike. "My left arm is totally immobilised at the moment so it is only electrotherapy, lymph drainage and massage. But now the doctors have made a special splint for me so I can take it off to take a shower and that's already an improvement," Bernd reported. He is also receiving support and treatment from his physiotherapist and thanks to his exercise bike is able to maintain a good level of fitness. Further down the road he will be able to expand his fitness program with swimming and other activities, but only when his doctor gives him the green light.
"I know I have to listen to my doctors and make sure my injuries are properly healed before I start riding again," the world champion said. "This will take patience. In the meantime I will work on my fitness and I look forward to being back on my KTM as soon as possible." It takes guts to become a world champion. Now Bernd has to apply the same courage and determination to his recovery process. Meanwhile the KTM International Orange family looks forward to seeing him on the grid again and wishes him a speedy recovery