Sunday, June 13, 2010


Random thoughts on the Rossi and Bostrom crashes

Unarguably, the most significant crash in the motorcycle world over the past week was nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi's ugly get-off at Mugello during qualifying, resulting in a horribly broken leg. The injury is the worst the 31-year-old racing deity has yet been forced to endure to my memory, and may also require by far the longest recovery time. Rossi and his doctors are saying a return to the paddock can be expected within four to six races, but considering the mangled severity of the leg injury in question, I wouldn't be surprised if we get word over the next few months that Valentino is done for the season.

To give you some perspective on just how awful Rossi's injury actually is, keep in mind that the wound had to be left open for a certain amount of time after the operation. Though surgery went well, Rossi told Superbike Planet's Dean Adams just a few days ago that the possibility of infection is a major concern right now, and that he is essentially immobilized indefinitely with the leg elevated as a result. In other words, rehabilitation is still a long way off. I don't work in health care, but I've been watching motorcycle racing for a long time and have seen lots of guys get hurt. Rossi's injury isn't a busted collar bone or fractured wrist. It's serious, and while I'm hopeful it won't result in a forced retirement situation, I must admit that I've been going back repeatedly in my mind to how it all ended for Mick Doohan in 1999.

In any case, the Superbike Blog extends its best wishes and prayers to Valentino Rossi for a full and speedy recovery. MotoGP just wouldn't be the same without him.

The other get-off that got my attention over the past few days was much less severe, but involved one of my favorite racers of all time. It was the crash in testing suffered by Eric Bostrom at Barber on June 10. EBoz was putting an Attack Performance Suzuki GSXR1000 through its paces at the time of the incident, getting it set to race at Laguna in July after taking an almost 2-year hiatus from the sport. There were no injuries suffered by Bostrom in a crash that perhaps illustrates what can happen when you're away from full-on superbikes for an extended period of time, then start the process of re-establishing the skills necessary to pilot one successfully.

I've always liked EBoz because he has a tendency to approach life the way I sometimes do. He has a lot of interests and opinions outside of his profession, and displays a zest for living and acquiring knowledge that seems never to wane. I've always respected that. On the occasions I've met him in person, Eric was always very cool to me, and seemed sincere in how he treated all his fans. That goes a long way on the racing scene.

And I have to be honest; I thought we'd seen the last of Eric Bostrom when he walked away in 2008. It's very nice to see him giving it another go, and I sincerely hope his best racing is yet to come. It'd certainly be great to have another EBoz championship poster to hang alongside the one on my garage wall from 2001. Let's keep our fingers crossed.