Factory Suzuki's Joel Smets has been taking a forced two week break after sustaining a knee ligament injury at Valence, and although still able to train, is set to undergo a fitness test tomorrow (Mar-2).
If the results of the examination are positive, then the 34-year-old Belgian will consult with doctors to arrange a date to resume duties in the saddle.
At this stage, it is looking as though Smets' next race outing will at Mons for the opening round of the Belgian Championship on March 14th, just one week ahead of the first Grand Prix of the year.
"Although it is hard to say what will happen with Joel's knee over the next few weeks, it is looking unlikely that he will race at the Hawkstone Park International on March 7th. He is aware though that in order to make the first Grand Prix he needs to get some time on the bike, so the aim is to get in the gate at Mons. I'm sure it has been frustrating for him because he'll be itching to ride having seen Kevin's results and the performance of the bike so far. I think the RM-Z has already shown that it is not too far behind the others and from our point of view not being able to use Joel and all of his experience and expertise has been disappointing," said team manager Jens Johansson.