Bad news from the world of flat track racing this weekend, as Brad Baker was seriously injured during a practice session a the X Games event in Minneapolis. Crashing and going over the handlebars of his Indian FTR750 race bike, the incident didn’t look to be a big crash from a video posted on social media. However, the result of the crash has seen Baker hospitalized for a serious back injury, though according to a post by his brother on social media, Brad was awake and alert in the hospital. Few details have been released by the family or team since the crash, but we do know that Baker underwent surgery on Sunday to repair multiple fractures to his T6 vertebra, which was putting pressure on Baker’s spinal cord and causing paralysis.
More bad news from the World Superbike paddock, as Chaz Davies joins Leon Camier in the list of riders who have injured themselves during the two-month summer break
Davies broke the collarbone in his right shoulder during a training incident. As such, Davies will miss the Race of Champions at World Ducati Week 2018, but he should be ready for racing action when WorldSBK convenes in Portugal for the official WorldSBK test in August, and later in September for the Portuguese round.
It is not clear at this time if Davies will undergo surgery to plate the collarbone fracture, or if he will let the fracture mend on its own. Either way, the injury should not prevent the factory Ducati rider from performing his WorldSBK duties.
World Superbike rider Leon Camier has endured a difficult season thus far in the World Superbike Championship. Breaking ribs and suffering from a lung contusion during Race 1 at Aragon, Camier had to miss the next two rounds of the 2018 season.
Now suffering another crash, this time at the Suzuka 8-Hours test in Japan, Camier is once again on the mend, fracturing the C5 vertebra in his neck.
A lot of action has occurred for this year’s Isle of Man TT, and yet not a single bike has circulated the Mountain Course in anger yet.
We saw the unfortunate news that Bruce Anstey would sit out this year of racing, as he starts a new battle with cancer. We also saw John McGuinness jump ship from Honda to Norton, and then join forces with rival Michael Dunlop in the supersport class.
Adding to the news, Team Mugen announced an unheard of three-rider lineup for the TT Zero race, though today we learn that those plans have had to change, with now Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter headlining a two-man team for Mugen.
The cause for this change? John McGuinness re-fracturing his healing leg (14 months after initially breaking it), and thus unable to compete on the electric superbike.
We have some good news to report for grand prix racing fans, as Dani Pedrosa has been cleared to ride by MotoGP’s medical team, and thus can compete in the Grand Prix of the Americas, held this weekend in Austin, Texas.
Breaking his wrist in a crash with Johann Zarco, Pedrosa had surgery on the broken bones over a week ago, at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Spain.
Though the surgery was deemed a success, there was still some debate as to whether Pedrosa would compete at the American round, but with today’s announcement from Repsol Honda and MotoGP, we will have a full contingent of Honda’s at the Americas GP.
Dani Pedrosa has suffered a fractured wrist in his lap one crash at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina on Sunday. As a consequence of that crash, Pedrosa had to undergo surgery today in Barcelona to fix the intra-articular fracture in his right distal radius. The fracture reduction and internal fixation with a titanium screw was performed at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, by Dr. Xavier Mir and his team from the Catalan Institute of Traumatology and Sports Medicine (ICATME). Pedrosa’s crash was the subject of some controversy. The Repsol Honda rider crashed after being forced wide at Turn 13 by Johann Zarco, who had taken the inside line. Pedrosa was pushed out through a damp line onto a dirty section of track.
It is hard to envision a worse time to lose a rider for the season. Jonas Folger’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the 2018 MotoGP season to focus on his health was a hammer blow for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. Just weeks before the start of testing for the new season, and long after riders good enough to race in MotoGP have signed contracts, Tech 3 team boss Hervé Poncharal is left looking for a replacement. It is a massive task, especially as Poncharal is refusing to break any contracts to take a rider. “You would be amazed to hear how many phone calls I have had, and who from,” he told us. “There were some interesting names, honestly, but priority for me, the basis for me is that I will never take or enter into any kind of discussion with someone who has a contract.”
The 2018 season starts off with a nasty surprise for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. On Wednesday, the team announced that Jonas Folger will not be racing in 2018, leaving them without a second rider for the coming season.
The reason Folger gave for pulling out of racing is to focus on recovery from the health issues he suffered at the end of 2017.
The German was forced to pull out of the three Asian flyaways, after health problems later diagnosed as Gilbert’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the liver which causes chronic fatigue.
Folger still does not feel at 100% fitness, and decided to take a year out of racing to focus fully on his recovery.
On Monday, Sam Sunderland was at the top of the leaderboard in the 2018 Dakar Rally, on his way to securing KTM’s 17th-straight Dakar Rally victory. By the next day however, Sunderland’s fortunes were much more different, with the treachery of the Dakar showing itself.
Taking a massive crash during on Tuesday, Sunderland’s Dakar Rally was over, thus ending his hopes for a back-to-back winning of the iconic off-road race.
The crash occurred during the timed “special” of Stage 4, with Sunderland’s KTM 450 Rally apparently crashing into a large hole. The crash was so severe, Sunderland worried that he had broken his back, with him unable to feel his legs after remounting and riding several more miles.
Thankfully, Sunderland has been cleared of any life-changing injuries, having suffered “only” two crushed discs in his spinal column.
Aleix Espargaro will not be racing at Sepang. The Spaniard broke a bone in his left hand when he crashed out of the MotoGP race in Phillip Island, and is to fly back to Barcelona for surgery.
Aprilia will not replace Espargaro, his absence coming at too short notice to find a replacement rider in time.