Joel Roelants–Team Yamaha. Photo: Yamaha-Racing
After racing the 2011 FIM 250 GP’s for the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, Joel RToleants aged-out of the 250 class and signed with the factoy Yamaha team for a shot at the 450 World title. Roelants was injured at the end of the 2012 season and plans to return to riding on Christmas day.
HOW ARE YOU FEELING AND HOW IS THE BUILD-UP TO BE BACK ON THE BIKE GOING?
Quite good! I had a fitness text last Thursday and my level was really good, which I was glad to hear about. At the moment I have around 65% strength in my leg and I’m working on improving that in the next couple of weeks. I have been doing a lot of upper body training because this is an important stage of the year to be ready for next season. I’ll be on the 450 now so strength work has been key. All the hours you put in now will pay off when the racing starts and I’m really keen to get back into it. I feel like I have been away a long time!
YOU PLAN TO RIDE THE YZ450F FOR THE FIRST TIME ON CHRISTMAS DAY?
Yes, December 25 is the day I have arranged. That is when I expect to be fully ready to start riding again. On Christmas day I will be in a camper at the track and as soon as it is first light then I will be up raring to go!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PREPARE FOR DAY ONE?
I have a small gym at my house with all the equipment I need and I’m in there five times a week. Every day I am out cycling, whether on a mountain bike or cyclocross – which is a popular sport in Belgium – so I’m pretty busy. The weather here is actually quite good at the moment so if it stays dry then I’ll also be spending a bit of time working on my pit-bike track.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF COMBINING THE 250 AND 450 BIKES ON THE TRACK AT THE SAME TIME?
If you are on an MX1 bike then it won’t be so bad. If you make a good start, it will be hard for the MX2 guys to overtake. If they do pass you then it is because they are faster, but I don’t think that will happen so much. It is something that could work for the overseas races simply because the gates tend to be smaller, but for the majority of races there is no need. If we have to do it then, of course, it is something we need to adjust to.