SMITH’S YEAR ON HOLD
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