SMITH’S YEAR ON HOLD

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Bradley Smith faces an un­cer­tain road to re­cov­ery, as he strug­gles to come back from a knee in­jury sus­tained dur­ing a crash dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing for the Osch­er­sleben 8-Hour last week­end.

Rid­ing for the Yamaha Aus­tria Rac­ing Team, Smith col­lided with a back marker, and was air­lifted to hos­pi­tal with a sus­pected bro­ken fe­mur. And while that di­ag­no­sis was later cor­rected to no bro­ken bones, dam­age to his knee means that he could face a long time away from Mo­togp.

“Re­cov­ery time will change de­pend­ing on whether we go for surgery and what tech­niques are used. There are a cou­ple out there that halve the time to re­cover, or I could be back a lot sooner if I don’t need the surgery or if I don’t need a lig­a­ment graft. Right now, the sur­geon is look­ing at all pos­si­bil­i­ties and then we’ll de­cide – but it’s not a su­per-easy fix.

“A friend of mine had a sim­i­lar in­jury, and was back on a speed­way bike within three weeks, but skiers can do a com­pa­ra­ble thing and take six months. It’s one of those in­juries that de­pends how I go about it and how much I think short-term, mid-term and long-term. We’ve got to de­cide the way for­ward in terms of get­ting back rac­ing, fu­ture em­ploy­ment and my day-to-day well­be­ing.”

How­ever, de­spite miss­ing his home race this week­end, the Ox­ford­shire racer is pleased that Alex Lowes will get a chance to show his worth as a re­place­ment rider.

“Al­ready the lap times that he did in that stint at Brno were good, but we all know that rid­ers can get up to speed quite quickly and then it’s that next step that is the hard­est one. The nice thing for him is that he’s not pres­sured into any sit­u­a­tion.

“I’ve al­ready warned him that if he crashes my bike like he crashed Pol’s he’s go­ing to be in trou­ble!”

‘The sur­geon is look­ing at all pos­si­bil­i­ties and then we’ll de­cide’ BRADLEY SMITH

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