French Kawasaki rider Sébastien Pourcel is sidelined just as the Motocross GP season is set to kick off.
He was unfortunate to crash during the second round of the British Championship at Canada Heights last weekend.
After his good performances in the Valence International and the Sommières round of the French Elite series, Sébastien was participating in the British championship race as the final step in his preparation for the forthcoming FIM World MX1 Championship.
After finishing fourth in the first moto, Pourcel crashed heavily on a triple jump during the second; the local doctors sent him for examination in a British hospital after which he was given the all-clear to return home, but Pourcel experienced pain during the journey back to the south of France.
He had further examinations and discussions with Professor Olivier Dufour in Aix en Provence, who, together with professor Noel Graziani from the Clairval hosiptal in Marseille, discovered some damage to the sixth thoracic vertebra.
Pourcel will now spend a few days recovering before deciding, together with the professors, if he will go for surgery or wear a corset and await the natural healing process. In either case, Pourcel, who ended the final MX1 World Championship round of 2010 in Italy on the rostrum, will not be able to ride for several months.
Jonathan Barragan and Xavier Boog, both leading their national series, will represent the KRT team in the MX1 World Championship, which kicks off in just over a week in Sevlievo (Bulgaria).
Roger Pourcel and Thierry Chizat Suzzoni (the team owners): “The pre-season races were pretty good for us until this weekend, as our three riders got some strong results in the national series. This injury reminds us how difficult this sport that we love so much can be, and for sure it’s bad news for Sébastien and for the team.
“We don’t yet know the full reason for the crash, but it was a big one and unfortunately his injury is serious. We will not put any pressure on him, he has to make his own decision for his future; but everything at the Kawasaki Racing Team will of course be waiting for him when he feels ready to return. At the moment we remain focused on Xavier and Jonathan for the first few GPs, and we’ll see later if we will look for a replacement rider or not.”
Steve Guttridge, European Race Planning Manager at Kawasaki Motors Europe: “Everyone at Kawasaki wishes Sébastien a full and speedy recovery.”
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com