Hard Luck: Hopkins, Hutchinson & Canard
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
There have are some notable hard luck riders this year in motorcycle racing. John Hopkins, Ian Hutchinson and Trey Canard have all suffered broken bones. Injury is unlucky, but not uncommon for professional racers, but the uncanny circumstances of these injuries merit a closer look.
John Hopkins will miss the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship after fracturing his right hand in a pre-season test at the Phillip Island circuit.
Earlier this week John Hopkins
broke his right hand during a preseason World Superbike test at Phillip Island. Hopkins' right hand has already been the source of a macabre story line this off-season. The American was forced to amputate the top two knuckles on his right ring finger in January, an amputation that came after Hopkins fell ill from an infection in November after his body rejected a bone graft from a previous operation. Hopkins originally injured his hand crashing during practice as a MotoGP wild card at Brno (riding for former GP employer Rizla Suzuki).
Reports state that Hopkins’ current Phillip Island injury broke the bone in his hand just below the base of the amputated finger. The really bad news is Hopkins will miss the opening round of his 2012 World Superbike campaign with Crescent Suzuki.
The American appeared to be on the rebound in 2011, making history and winning races in the British Superbike Championship. But the hard-luck Hopkins fell short of the 2011 BSB title by a scant 0.016 seconds, losing out to Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill in the final race of the year. While the never-ending finger injury didn’t directly derail Hopkins’ BSB title hopes, thanks to its unique Showdown format, he did run into some bad luck with an electrical failure costing him precious title points in the penultimate Superbike race.
Once again, Hopkins is behind the injury eight-ball. A promising WSB campaign will now have to start at least two races down on the title contenders.
English TT racer Ian Hutchinson has broken his leg twice since winning an unprecendent five races at '10 IOM TT.
Not much has gone well for Ian Hutchinson since his perfect 2010 Isle of Man TT performance
. The Englishman took an unprecedented five TT wins that year, but his ’10 British Superbike campaign ended in agony – severely breaking his left leg at Silverstone. The injury was so severe that he nearly lost the leg. Fortunately, after several surgeries Hutchinson was back in action at the end of 2011, taking a third-place podium finish at the Macau Grand Prix in November.
That’s the good news, the bad came in early February when Hutchy broke, of all things, his left leg. The TT star fractured his leg while rehearsing a stunt for an MCN Motorcycle Show. The Swan Yamaha website reports that Hutchinson was injured after “twisting his leg awkwardly whilst riding an off-road bike during practice for the stunt show.”
The current leg fracture is reportedly located away from the previous breaks. However, Hutchinson will once again have to source an external fixator to get fit (he wore a similar device for his previous fractures and surgeries). Hutchinson is reputed to be eyeing a return by the North West 200.
Trey Canard collides with Ryan Morais at the Los Angeles Supercross in Dodger Stadium. Both riders were hospitalized following the incident.
Honda Supercross/Motocross factory racer Trey Canard
knows about breaking the same leg twice. The Oklahoma native snapped his femur in the midst of an impressive 2011 Supercross campaign, and then broke the same bone again during Round 7 of the Outdoor Nationals at Washougal. Season-ending fractures were already a familiar plotline for Canard, with a broken wrist having spoiled his 2009 Lites season.
Canard started 2012 on the injury sidelines as well – the 22-year-old delaying his return to Supercross until Round 2 at Phoenix after breaking his collarbone in the off-season. But it was a horrific crash at Round 4 at Dodger Stadium that has Canard out indefinitely. Canard collided with Ryan Morais in the main event, with both riders hospitalized from the incident. Canard had surgery to stabilize his injuries
, including fractures in his back.
It’s a cruel twist of fate that these unlucky racers also happen to be three of the easiest riders to root for success. Let’s hope fortunes turn around for this star-crossed trio.
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